Banner Health
Making healthcare easier

Pediatric Blood Disease

Blood disorders and diseases affect the blood's ability to function normally. These disorders may affect the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, lymph nodes, blood vessels and bone marrow. The team at Banner Children’s has the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of pediatric blood diseases and disorders.

What Is Pediatric Hematology?

Hematology is the study of blood and blood disorders, a group of noncancerous and cancerous diseases that can affect the body’s function and potentially the quality of life in children of all ages. Blood disorders in children can range from mild to life-threatening.

Types of Blood Disorders Treated at Banner

Our pediatric hematologists treat a wide variety of blood diseases - cancerous and benign. The most common blood cancers seen in children are leukemias and lymphomas. Learn more about pediatric cancer and how we’re here to help.

Other non-cancerous blood disorders and diseases treated at Banner Children's include:

  • Anemias
  • Neutropenias
  • Thrombocytopenias
  • Bone marrow failure disorders
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease, thalassemias)
  • Red blood cell enzyme deficiencies (G6PD)
  • Hereditary spherocytosis
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Bleeding/clotting disorders
  • Hemophilia and von Willebrand disease
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Polycythemias and Thombocythemias
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hemophagocytic syndromes (HLH)
  • Histiocytosis (LCH)
  • Leukemias (acute and chronic)
  • Lymphomas
  • Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD)

Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Blood Disorders in Children

Blood disorders in children can appear at any age and can be caused by several factors including genetics. Signs and symptoms of blood disorders include:

  • Pallor
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Bone pain
  • Delayed growth

How Are Pediatric Blood Diseases Diagnosed?

When a child is born, a newborn screen may indicate that your child may have a blood disorder. In those cases, your child may need additional blood tests to diagnose a specific anemia. However, most blood disorders may occur and be diagnosed later in life.

The pediatric hematologist may recommend additional blood tests, a bone marrow biopsy or imaging studies (ultrasound, xray, CT scan or MRI) to make a more accurate diagnosis. After your pediatric hematologist has determined a diagnosis, the multidisciplinary team at Banner Children’s collaborates to address your child’s illness.

How Are Pediatric Blood Diseases Treated?

Treatment options for pediatric blood diseases vary based on your child’s condition and needs. Different diseases or disorders affect different blood components, such as white or red blood cells, hemoglobin or plasma.

Blood Transfusions

Blood transfusions may be required for diseases such as anemia, cancer and sickle cell disease. During a blood transfusion, blood will be provided by a donor that matches your child’s blood type.


Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells, stop cell growth and prevent cells from dividing into more cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually given through an IV or a more permanent catheter that may require surgery to be placed. Some chemotherapy drugs can be administered in pill form. Chemotherapy can be effective for treating certain blood disorders like leukemia, a cancer of the blood. Once chemotherapy destroys the cells, the blood can begin producing healthy blood cells with the help of transfusions. The team of experts will consistently check your child’s blood count.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplants, also known as stem cell transplants, are often used in treating leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders. Once an appropriate stem cell donor is found, a transplant can take place and the transplanted stem cells can produce healthy blood cells. Our team of experts will be by your child’s side every step of the way. During treatment, we will make sure your child is as comfortable as possible.


Immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system to fight off disease. This treatment reprograms the blood cells to find and destroy cancer cells.


The type of blood disorder your child has will determine the medications used to treat the disease or related symptoms. Your pediatric hematologist will discuss medication options for pain management and treatment.

You can depend on Banner Children’s to provide comprehensive pediatric care for your family’s needs. Talk to your pediatrician about what kind of treatment is right for your child.