Pediatric Hematology/Oncology : Clinical Services

Sickle Cell Program

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Pediatric Sickle Cell Program, led by Ofelia Alvarez, M.D., is one of the most active programs in the state of Florida, treating more than 700 children with sickle cell disease each year. The Program offers a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of sickle hemoglobin disorders from the newborn to age 21. We provide confirmation of newborn screening, education and counseling of clinical problems relating to sickle cell disease, with focus on the prevention of disease complications such as:

  • Strokes
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Eye conditions
  • Pulmonary hypertension

As the disease can develop a variety of complications, we work closely with our pediatric colleagues across the health spectrum.

We are designated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute NHLBI as one of only ten national Basic and Translational Research Programs in Sickle Cell Disease and currently are participating in 6 clinical trials and leading 4 of these NIH national sickle cell trials, including:

  • SWiTCH (Stroke with Transfusions Changed to Hydroxyurea) for children with sickle cell and stroke
  • TWiTCH (TCD with Transfusions Changed to Hydroxyurea) for children with sickle cell and risk of a future stroke
  • Baby HUG Follow-Up for young children who were treated with hydroxyurea or placebo in Baby HUG Clinical Trial
  • Parent Focused Intervention to Improve Academic Success in Children with Sickle Cell Disease