Hematology (from the Greek word ‘haima’, meaning blood) is the branch of internal medicine that deals with the physiology, pathology, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention of blood-related disorders. Hematologists are trained to treat a wide variety of disease conditions ranging from anemia to blood cancer.
Some of the diseases treated by haematologists include:
- Anemia due to hematinic deficiencies – iron deficiency anaemia, megaloblastic anemia.
- Cancers of blood, lymphoid organs or bone marrow – leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myelofibrosis.
- Hemoglobinopathies – thalassemia, sickle cell anemia.
- Essential thrombocythemia or excess production of platelets.
- Polycythemia or excess production of red blood cells.
- Bleeding disorders – hemophilia, von Willebrand disease.
- Platelet disorders – immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia, Bernard Soulier syndrome.
- Clot formation within the body – deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, arterial thrombotic blocks, thrombophilia.
- Anticoagulation or blood thinning medications.
- Recurrent pregnancy loss due to antiphospholipid syndrome or deficiency of certain coagulation related proteins in the blood.
- Blood transfusion.
- Bone marrow stem cell transplantation.