Hematology, is the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. These diseases may affect the production of blood and its components, such as blood cells, hemoglobin, blood proteins, and clotting. Common Hematological conditions / diseases include:
BLOOD Cancers – such as AML – Acute Myeloid Leukemia, ALL – Acute Lymphoid Leukemia, CML – Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, CLL – Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Hodgkin’s Disease, Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and others
Low hemoglobin, platelets, white cells – anemia, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia
High hemoglobin, platelets, white cells – polycythemia, thrombocytosis, leucocytosis
Iron related diseases – such as Hemochromatosis
Bone marrow related diseases – such as Aplastic anemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome , Myelofibrosis, PNH – paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria …
Bleeding tendency – such as Hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, many hereditary / congential disorders of platelet function …
Blood Clotting or Thrombosis, Embolism – now increasing in India – require highly specialized care to ensure patient safety and good outcome
Hematologists are also frequently called to help in:
ICU patients with various abnormalities of blood tests
Before surgery / operation if high risk for bleeding is suspected
Bleeding patients – such as after accident, surgery, liver cirrhosis…
Pregnancy – associated with many abnormalities of blood tests, bleeding after delivery, recurrent abortions
Some undiagnosed conditions, which may be result of blood disease – such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, weight loss, enlarged spleen
Blood transfusion related issues
Clotting prevention – before or after surgery / operation, during long air travel
Abnormalities of some blood tests without obvious explanation, such as high PT or aPTT
Infections like Dengue which are associated with low platelets, high aPTT
Managing blood thinner medicines such as warfarin, heparin, low molecular weight heparin, fondaparinux, lepirudin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, streptokinase, urokinase, t-PA and others
Physicians who specialize in hematology are known as Hematologists. Their routine work mainly includes the care and treatment of patients with hematological diseases, although some may also work at the hematology laboratory viewing blood films and bone marrow slides under the microscope, interpreting various hematological test results and blood clotting test results. In some institutions, hematologists also manage the hematology laboratory. Physicians who work in hematology laboratories, and most commonly manage them, are pathologists specialized in the diagnosis of hematological diseases, referred to as hematopathologists. Hematologists and hematopathologists generally work in conjunction to formulate a diagnosis and deliver the most appropriate therapy if needed. Hematology is a distinct subspecialty of internal medicine, separate from but overlapping with the subspecialty of medical oncology. Hematologists may specialize further or have special interests, such as few choose to work in field of Bone Marrow Transplant or Stem Cell Transplant.