Jacquelyn M. Powers, MD, MS
- Cancer and Blood Disorders
Section Chief, Hematology
Director, Iron Disorders and Nutritional Anemias Program
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine
Get to know Jacquelyn M. Powers, MD, MS
Dr. Jackie Powers is an expert in the management of iron deficiency anemia. She was the principal investigator for the BESTIRON clinical trial, which compared the efficacy of two commonly prescribed oral iron medications for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in young children. This trial was one of only a few randomized clinical trials conducted in the United States specifically aimed at children with iron deficiency anemia. In addition to oral iron supplementation (iron by mouth), Dr. Powers has expertise in the indications for and utilization of intravenous iron therapy. She has given educational talks at national meetings including for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Dr. Powers was initially drawn to a career in blood and cancer disorders from an experience early in her pediatric training. As a pediatric intern, Dr. Powers helped care for a young girl newly diagnosed with leukemia. The hematology/oncology physician on-call taught Dr. Powers about the diagnosis and reviewed the girl's blood under the microscope with her. The ability to look at a patient's blood to diagnose their condition was fascinating to her.
During her hematology/oncology fellowship, Dr. Powers became particularly interested in improving the management of children with blood disorders. In particular, she noted that many children and adolescents presented to the emergency department or were admitted to the hospital with moderate to severe anemia due to iron deficiency. She set out to optimize patient care with the goal of improving their anemia as well as important patient-centered outcomes - fatigue, health-related quality of life, and overall school and physical performance.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common blood condition in the world. In the United States, the two age groups most affected are young children (infants and toddlers) and adolescent girls. Young children typically develop iron deficiency anemia due to insufficient dietary iron intake. In contrast, adolescent girls may develop iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding. Many other children of all ages may develop iron deficiency anemia due to a variety of risk factors such as premature birth and/or gastro-intestinal conditions or surgery that result in loss of blood from the intestinal tract or poor iron absorption. Children with chronic inflammatory conditions may develop anemia of chronic disease with or without concomitant iron deficiency anemia and develop symptoms of fatigue and poor concentration. Dr. Powers treats all such affected patients from birth through adolescence and tailors her diagnostic and treatment plan based on each individual child. She involves the family in the decision-making process to determine the best plan to optimize the child or teen's health and functioning.
In addition to caring for children with iron deficiency, Dr. Powers cares for children with other nutritional anemias (such as vitamin B12 and folate) as well as children with iron overload disorders (elevated iron levels) due to the need for blood transfusions or due to hereditary hemochromatosis. She has specific interests in caring for children with other general hematology conditions such as red blood cell membrane disorders like hereditary spherocytosis and elliptocytosis, and red blood cell enzyme disorders such as pyruvate kinase deficiency. Dr. Powers is also a member of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis team and helps evaluate and care for patients with bleeding or clotting disorders, particularly adolescent girls.
American Board of Pediatrics
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