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Neonatal Care for Sickle Cell Anemia in Central California

Sickle cell anemia (also called sickle cell or sickle cell disease) is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to produce misshapen red blood cells. Instead of being round, the blood cells are shaped like a sickle, or the letter C. The odd shape of the blood cells makes it difficult for them to flow through blood vessels, which can cause pain, tiredness, and other symptoms.

Babies born with this condition need expert care to prevent complications. Sickle cell is a treatable condition, and Dignity Health Central California offers compassionate care at our NICUs.

Find a Doctor online for quality neonatal care to treat your baby with sickle cell anemia in Central California.


Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease

It’s now routine to check babies for sickle cell disease before or after birth. The condition is often found before birth with the help of prenatal testing. Most babies with the disease are diagnosed before symptoms develop.

Common signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia include: 

  • Pain that may be temporary or chronic
  • Vision problems
  • Delayed growth
  • Frequent infections
  • Jaundice
  • Swollen feet or hands


Treating Your Newborn with Sickle Cell at Dignity Health Central California

Although there’s no cure for sickle cell, our dedicated specialists work hard to ease your baby’s symptoms and prevent future complications. 

Your baby’s treatment may include: 

  • Immunizations to prevent infection – babies with sickle cell have a higher risk for infections
  • Medications to ease pain and prevent infection.
  • Blood transfusions to restore normal red blood cell levels. 

With the proper treatment, your baby can develop normally and lead a healthy life. Some babies need ongoing medical care for vision problems, circulation difficulties, and other sickle cell-related complications. 

Knowing your baby’s risk for sickle cell can prepare you to care for him or her after delivery.

Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health Central California about screening your baby for sickle cell during your pregnancy.

Dignity Health Central California offers compassionate and quality treatment for babies with sickle cell disease in Bakersfield, Merced, and Stockton, CA.

Learn more about the Lauren Small Children's Center

Lauren's Story

The Lauren Small Children's center is named after Lauren Paige Small, a Bakersfield girl who inspired the community through her brave two-year battle with cancer.

Read Lauren's story