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Dr. Kennedy Hematology (or haematology in British English) is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. Hematology includes the study of the causes, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of blood diseases. Blood diseases impact the production of blood and its components, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, blood proteins, the components of coagulation, etc.

Physicians who specialize in hematology are known as hematologists. Their work includes the care and treatment of patients with diseases of the blood and blood forming organs. Some may alsospend time working at the microscope viewing blood films and bone marrow slides and interpreting various hematological test results. In some institutions, hematologists also spend time in administrative functions related to the hematology laboratory. Physicians who work in hematology laboratories, and usually manage it, are pathologists who specialize in the diagnosis of hematological diseases. they are referred to as hematopathologists. Hematologists and hematopathologists generally work in conjunction to come to a diagnosis and deliver the most appropriate therapy. Hematology is a distinct sub-specialty of internal medicine, separate from but overlapping with the sub-specialty of medical oncology. Hematologists may specialize further or have special interests, for example in treating such disorders such as:

  • hemophilia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • hematological malignancies such as lymphoma and leukemia (onco hematology)
  • hemoglobinopathies

and working in

  • blood transfusion
  • the work of a blood bank

Common Clinical Hematology Tests

The most commonly performed test is the complete blood count (CBC), in England called a full blood count (FBC), which includes; white blood cell count, platelet count, hemoglobin level and several parameters of red blood cells including size, concentration of hemoglobin and the hematocrit (the proportion of red cells to whole blood when packed down by a centrifuge). Coagulation is a sub-speciality of hematology; basic general coagulation tests are the prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT). Another common hematology test in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) which, if elevated reflects tissue breakdown somewhere in the body..In a blood bank the Coombs test is the most commonly performed test. The purpose of the Coombs test is to detect autoantibodies on the surface of red blood cells which may destroy red blood cells and cause anemia. Many diseases and drugs (quinidine, methyldopa, and procainamide) can provoke the formation of these antibodies.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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