Just saying the word “hematology,” may leave some of you wondering what is that? It is a scientific term used for the study of blood. You will hear doctors speak of it when taking blood tests.
Why do doctors study blood?
Doctors study hematology to help treat disorders, diseases, and cancers that run through the blood such as:
- Sickle-Cell Disease
- Polycythemia Vera
- Platelet Disorders
- Myelodysplasia Syndrome
What exactly is blood?
Blood is a living fluid that contains red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma. These are essential elements which carry oxygen throughout the body, carbon out of the body and nutrients to help fuel and nourish the body so it is able to stay energized and healthy. Blood is also essential for delivering water to organs so we stay properly hydrated and hormones, which are necessary for keeping our organs functioning the way they are designed too. When blood issues go haywire in the body, doctors study the four areas of hematology.
What are the four areas of hematology?
- Hemoglobinopathy: This area studies the blood molecules in the globin chains. If abnormalities are found in the blood, blood tests are performed to help diagnose the condition a patient is suffering from so it can be properly treated.
- Hematological Malignancy: Anytime abnormalities are found in the globin chains this is useful for diagnosing the type of disease, disorder or cancer the blood is fighting. This type of study helps detect bone marrow and lymph node cancers.
- Anemia: When an anemia study is done doctors are looking for why the blood is lacking in healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, which are essential for carrying oxygen throughout the blood. You can usually tell if you have anemia because you will suffer from moderate to severe fatigue.
- Coagulopathy: If you are experiencing bleeding inside the body due to injury or spontaneously doctors will use coagulopathy to find out the reason why. It also helps diagnose liver disease and bleeding disorders during pregnancy.
What are the types of tests used for helping doctors with these studies?
- Complete Blood Count Test
- Blood Enzyme Test
- Chemistry Test
- Heart Tests
What are some endnotes to keep in mind?
Now, the next time you hear the word, “Hematology,” you will understand what it means and why the study is done.