Who is a hematologist and when should I go to him

Referral to a specialist is usually given by a therapist.

What is a hematologist

A hematologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the blood and the hematopoietic system. Actually, the root "hema-" in translation from ancient Greek means "blood".

Strictly speaking, an expert in the field of hematology can choose one of two key areas for further work.

  1. Hematologist. This is a general practitioner or pediatrician who treats people. He examines patients, selects the necessary examinations, makes a diagnosis and, if necessary, prescribes therapy.
  2. Hematopathologist. This specialist does not work with patients, but deals exclusively with laboratory research. So, he studies damaged blood cells and tissues of those organs that are involved in hematopoiesis - for example, bone marrow and spleen samples taken during biopsy. And the hematopathologist also analyzes lymphocytic tissues - the same lymph nodes.

When You May Need a Hematologist

There are no signs that would immediately say that a person needs to see a hematologist specifically. A referral to this specialist is usually made by a general practitioner or other treating physician (such as a neurologist or gastroenterologist) who is referred to with complaints of feeling unwell or incomprehensible symptoms.

The therapist will first conduct an examination, look into the medical history and offer to take tests. If the doctor suspects that the cause of complaints may be problems with blood cells - leukocytes, lymphocytes, platelets - or with the hematopoietic and lymphatic systems, then he will issue a referral for a consultation with a hematologist.

Here are the diseases that this specialist diagnoses and can treat.

In addition, sometimes a hematologist is involved before a bone marrow transplant operation. A specialist can monitor a patient's condition during chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy, before and after a major blood transfusion or stem cell donation procedure.

What does a hematologist do

His task is to make a diagnosis, and then try to return the blood to a healthy state.

Sometimes a hematologist can be the primary care physician. For example, it is he who often deals with leukemia in children.

Often, an experienced specialist only needs to examine the patient and see the results of blood tests to suggest a diagnosis. However, in order to clarify the causes of the disease and prescribe the most effective treatment, the hematologist also conducts other examinations. It can be:

After receiving the results of the examinations, the hematologist draws up a treatment plan. What it will be depends on the disease that affected the blood and the hematopoietic system.

For example, radiation or chemotherapy is often prescribed for cancer. A bone marrow transplant may be required. Severe anemia is sometimes not managed without a blood transfusion. With hemophilia, supportive treatment is needed: the patient is regularly injected with special proteins that improve blood clotting, as well as other clotting drugs and hormones are prescribed. However, what exactly will work in a particular case, only the hematologist decides.

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