We’ve got good news for parents in the Tampa Bay area: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete just hired Dr. Cassandra Josephson as the new director of its Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. Josephson is a world leader in pediatric transfusion medicine, Johns Hopkins wrote in a press release.
There are many reasons a child might need a blood transfusion — blood loss from a serious injury or surgery, bleeding disorders like hemophilia, cancer treatment slowing down their body’s blood cell production, or sickle cell disease.
Transfusion medicine physicians determine if and when a patient might need a blood transfusion. They also help devise a plan for safely administering the blood or blood product to the patient. In children, this is particularly tricky.
A child’s immune system isn’t fully developed until they are around seven or eight years old, yet children receive blood from adult donors with fully developed immune systems. This raises many questions, like how pediatric blood transfusions might influence a child’s developing immune system.
Josephson has spent her career trying to answer this question. In the process, she’s discovering ways to administer blood to children as safely as possible. And she’s bringing all that expertise with her.
“This is a critically important time in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology and blood and marrow transplantation,” Josephson said in a press release. “There are many new and innovative medical technologies/treatments. I’m excited to lead an institute where all the right ingredients exist to take it to the next level.”