Blood disorders — haematology

What is a blood disorder?

A blood disorder can affect red blood cells, which carry oxygen to:

  • tissues
  • white blood cells — which fight infection
  • platelets — which help blood to clot
  • plasma — the liquid portion of blood.

Disorders include anaemia, thalassemia and sickle cell disease, malaria, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), sepsis and haemophilia. 

Information about cancers of the blood can be found in the Cancer section.

How does the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network help children who have a non-malignant blood disorder?

The Children's Hospital at Westmead Haematology Service incorporates two separate but interlinked services, the Haematology Clinical Service and the Haematology Laboratory Service. These services undertake diagnostic testing and laboratory monitoring for paediatric cancers (eg leukaemia) as well as all other conditions presenting to The Children's Hospital at Westmead. The Haematology Clinical Service provides care and treatment for a range of non-malignant conditions including:

  • Haemophilia and bleeding disorders
  • Haemoglobinopathy (thalassaemia and sickle cell disease)
  • Marrow failure
  • Anticoagulation

The non-malignant haematology program at Sydney Children's Hospital incorporates a consultative service for neonatal hematology, blood dyscrasias, haemophilia and other bleeding disorders, haemoglobinopathies, primarily thalassaemia major and sickle cell disease, severe aplastic anaemia, vascular malformations, haemolytic anaemia and children experiencing or at risk of venous thrombo-embolic events.

The majority of the clinical service is provided on an outpatient basis in 15 outpatient clinics at Sydney Children's Hospital (for both oncology and hematology patients) and the 22 rural and regional outreach clinics. Laboratory haemato-pathology services are provided by the adult haematology pathology service, as part of the SEALS laboratory service, on the adjoining Prince of Wales campus.