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What Can I Expect if Sent to a Hematologist?

A hematologist is a doctor who specializes in studying, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the blood, such as leukemia, HIV, and clotting disorders. This specialty is particularly important because the blood is the method that the body uses to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues. When the blood is compromised, our entire system can be at risk.Red blood cells

At your first visit, it is likely that the hematologist will review your past medical history, perform an exam, and discuss your symptoms. They may request that blood be pulled for additional testing and will likely recommend a course of treatment based on the results. Some of the most common blood disorders involve conditions that change the way blood clots.

Common Disorders

Disorders that frequently require patients to seek care from a hematologist include:

Hypercoagulable Conditions

When the skin is cut or injured, the blood works to form a clot to close the opening. This process is called coagulation, and it is important because if the blood doesn’t clot quickly enough the patient may bleed out.

Hypercoagulation occurs when the blood clots too easily. This can lead to clots where there is no injury, inside of the blood vessel. Because blood circulates, blood clots can be taken to any part of the body. If the clot flows from a larger vessel to a smaller one, the clot can completely block that vessel and cause serious medical conditions such as:

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolisms occur when a blood clot blocks a major blood vessel in the lung. Blood clots in the lung can cause serious damage to the lung tissue and even cause a portion of the lung to die. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT, like pulmonary embolisms, occur when a blood clot blocks off an artery in a part of the body (other than the lungs, brain, or heart). DVT’s most commonly occur in the legs and can be very painful. In the most extreme cases, complete loss of the use of the limb may occur. 

Stroke

Strokes happen when a blood clot cuts off the flow of blood in the brain. Strokes may be minor and have no lasting side effects, or they may result in brain damage that can affect speech, vision, movement, memory, and more.

Cardiac Arrest

Also known as a heart attack, cardiac arrest frequently occurs when a blood clot is stuck in a vessel leading into or out of the heart.

Common causes of hypercoagulation include prothrombin mutation, hyperhomocysteinemi, Factor V Leiden mutation, and certain medications.

Atrial Fibrillation

When a patient is suffering from atrial fibrillation, they have an irregular heartbeat. This irregularity can atrial fibrillation graphincrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Some patients may not have a true blood disorder, but still may consult with a hematologist due to the risk of forming blood clots after specific types of surgeries. Frequently, patients who are undergoing knee replacement, hip replacement, or the repair of a fractured hip may seek care because they are restricted from movement for some time, which increases the risk of forming a blood clot.

For each of the above disorders, hematologists frequently prescribe blood thinners so that the risk of forming a blood clot is lessened. Recently, one blood thinner gained national attention when patients throughout the country began to file lawsuits alleging that the drug had dangerous side effects that had harmed the patient more than it had helped.

Warning Regarding Blood Thinner Xarelto And Its Side Effects

Xarelto was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011. Initially, the approval was for patients that were going to undergo knee or hip replacements. Later the drug was approved to treat patients with atrial fibrillation and clotting disorders that may lead to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

Physicians were thrilled at the release of this new drug. The drug, unlike other blood thinners, is the same dosage for all patients. This meant that doctors didn’t require the patient to come in for frequent monitoring to determine if the dosage was appropriate. Patients also don’t have to change their diet while on Xarelto.

However, the drug has several dangerous side effects. Unlike older blood thinners, Xarelto has no known antidote. Other blood thinners can be reversed with the use of Vitamin K, but this vitamin does not affect the clotting properties of Xarelto. This means that if a patient is injured either externally or internally, they may bleed out due to an inability to form blood clots.

Reported side effects also include pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gastrointestinal bleeds, hemorrhages, cerebrovascular incidents, hematomas, dyspnea, hemoglobin deficiency, and edema.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published safety communications and two “black box warnings” regarding Xarelto, and the risks associated with the drug.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer AG and the marketing partner of Bayer in the U.S., Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company). In each complaint, plaintiffs allege that a patient suffered serious harm after being prescribed Xarelto. In some cases, the patient died as a result of the harm.

Recently, MDL 2592 was formed, which consolidated federally filed Xarelto lawsuits. This consolidation does not prevent new complaints from being filed and the litigation is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

For more information on Xarelto and your legal rights visit: http://bloodthinnerhelp.com

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