Cancer and Blood Disorders
The childhood cancer and blood disorders team at Blank Children's Hospital consists of specially trained pediatric oncologists and hematologists dedicated to caring for kids with cancer and blood disorders. Our physicians, nurses, child life specialists and staff work together to provide the latest blood disorder and cancer treatment in a family-centered care environment.
Blank Children's Hospital is affiliated with the Children's Oncology Group, which enables cancer centers from across the country to share information about the latest chemotherapy and alternative treatment protocols available. This means children receive the same, sophisticated care here in central Iowa that they would receive at other leading children's cancer centers.
- Outpatient Treatment: Appointments are held in the Blank Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The center is located on the Blank Children's Hospital campus in the Medical Plaza 2 - 1215 Pleasant Street, Suite 514, Des Moines, IA 50309.
- Infusion Center: Our Infusion Center is conveniently located next to our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center - in Suite 500. This enables patients to have an appointment to check any labs before going to the Infusion Center for treatment. The Infusion Center offers private rooms with recliners, TVs, DVD players and video game systems.
- Inpatient Care: Should your child need inpatient care that is provided on the inpatient unit (Blank 4) at Blank Children's Hospital. There we have specially-trained nurses in pediatric oncology and hematology. The rooms are private with special accommodations for the family.
- Sedation: When a medical procedure, such as a lumbar puncture or CT scan, is needed we offer sedation services. Sedation can help children endure a procedure that may be painful or may take an extended amount of time. Our pediatric sedation team closely monitors each patient throughout the entire procedure.
- Clinical Trials & Research: Through our participation in the Children's Oncology Group, our patients have access to the latest in cancer treatment and clinical trials. Our team will inform your family as to if trials are available based on the diagnosis and recommended treatment.
- Chaplain: Chaplains are available to provide spiritual, religious and emotional support to patients and families 24 hours a day. The chaplains serve many faiths and traditions. As members of your child's care team, our chaplains can offer your family comfort during the treatment process. They can assist in building coping skills through faith, blessings and prayer.
- Child Life: Cancer or a serious illness can be confusing and scary for children. Our child life team works closely with each patient to help him/her understand what is happening - at his/her developmental level. Child life works with patients to help promote confidence to aid in coping with treatments and procedures. Additionally, child life works closely with siblings of the patient to help them understand what is happening to their brother or sister.
- Psychology: The pediatric psychologist works with patients and families to promote coping and adjustment to their medical illness during and following treatment. Common interventions include supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral strategies to target increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, pain and behavioral changes. Relaxation and other self-coping strategies are also used to promote coping skills.
- Social Work: The pediatric social workers are an important part of the hematology/oncology team. They work with patients, families and staff both inpatient and outpatient. The social workers conduct assessments of patients and families to identify strengths and immediate needs. They can help to reduce barriers to improve health and optimize functioning. They also assist others in making the best use of available resources.
- School Services: Our team understands that your child's health care shouldn't get in the way of their education. To help parents and families provide stable learning conditions, we offer a schooling program staffed with a school teacher for children enrolled in Des Moines Public Schools to provide inpatient services for students during their hospital stay. Teachers work with students at their bedside or in our Meredith School Classroom. We also have a school liaison to assist families in establishing a school plan.