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What Is a Hematologist?
Knowing what a hematologist is can help you understand what this healthcare professional can do for you. Seeking the right doctor for your condition is always ideal, as they can help you through your situation. Here are the details if you want to know more about what a hematologist is.
A hematologist is a healthcare provider who is responsible for studying, determining, treating, and even preventing disorders of the lymphatic system and the blood. The patient's primary doctor will perform tests before the patient is referred to this type of specialist. This may happen because the primary doctor has discovered that the patient has a high risk for disease in the spleen, blood cells, blood vessels, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and platelets. Here are a few of these diseases:
- Thalassemia is a medical condition in which the body does not manufacture enough hemoglobin
- Hemophilia is a condition that prevents blood clotting
- Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells
- Sepsis is an infection in the blood
- Deep vein thrombosis is an ailment in which blood solidifies inside the veins
- Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells in the body
- Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the blood vessels and lymph nodes
- Sickle cell anemia is a condition that keeps red blood cells from flowing smoothly through the blood vessels
- Myeloma is a cancer that starts in the plasma cells of the bone marrow
- Von Willebrand’s disease is a genetic disorder that involves bleeding
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is an autoimmune disorder that causes abnormal blood clotting
- Thromboembolic disease can be either pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
- B12 or folate deficiency causes the body to manufacture abnormally large red blood cells that do not function properly
- Myelodysplastic syndrome is a collection of cancers and involves underdeveloped blood cells not turning into healthy ones
A hematologist can confirm the diagnosis that the primary doctor made through a series of diagnostic tests. The test results will help create a final diagnosis. Here are a few common diagnostic tests that can be ordered by this healthcare professional.
Prothrombin time (PT)
This measures the time that it takes for clotting to happen. The liver produces prothrombin to form clots. The hematologist may order a PT test if there is suspicion of a liver problem or if the patient is taking blood thinners. This diagnostic test can help diagnose or keep an eye on the patient’s current condition.
Complete blood count (CBC)
A hematologist orders a CBC to see if the numbers of each blood component are within the normal range. This is a basic test to see if the patient has healthy amounts of hemoglobin. These carry oxygen to the different parts of the body. This test also sees if the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are within the normal range.
International normalized ratio (INR)
The hematologist will need to make sure the patient’s liver is healthy if the patient is taking blood thinners. The doctor will also do this test to see if the medication is working well. The calculation is the INR. Some devices make INR testing possible at home, which enables patients to test their clotting speed daily.
Bone marrow biopsy
This test can tell the hematologist if the patient is not making enough blood cells. An anesthetic will be used to numb the area first. The patient will be awake during the biopsy, as it will be a quick sample extraction. The doctor will use a small needle and take some bone marrow and study it under a microscope.
A hematologist can help patients with the treatments, procedures, and therapies associated with the bone marrow and blood. This healthcare professional can perform blood transfusions and ablation therapy, for example. A hematologist can also perform bone marrow transplants and immunotherapy. Cancer and growth factor treatments are included in a hematologist’s work.
A doctor who wants to become a hematologist must complete two years of residency to train in a specific field. Then, two to four years of fellowship will follow. These may involve the study of another field, such as pediatric hematology. Experience in this field will help the doctor sharpen their skills and gain more practical knowledge about blood and bone marrow conditions.
A hematologist can help you regain your general health by targeting disorders in your blood or bone marrow
Healthy bone marrow and blood are crucial to a person’s good health. Any disorder in these components can cause significant damage. Working with a hematologist can help treat, manage, and even prevent these conditions.
Get more information about Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center in Marlton at https://lindenbergcancer.com.
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