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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
  • Pancytopenia

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.