A hematologist is a medical doctor that deals specifically with condition and disorders affecting the blood. They focus primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders that can have an effect on one’s overall health.
Many common blood conditions and disorders affecting individuals include anemia, hemophilia, deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and cancers of the blood including leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma. This type of specialty doctor also may work with bone marrow and stem cell transplant surgeries. Family physicians may be the first to diagnose the presence of a blood condition but will refer patients to a hematologist for additional testing and treatment.
A hematologist may be employed in a variety of medical facilities including private laboratories, physician clinics, and blood banks. A hematologist may also have a niche practice working with patients that have specific blood related issues including those that affect bone marrow or organs. Hematologists may also specialize in the fields of genetic testing where inherited blood diseases and conditions are analyzed and treated.
If a blood condition is diagnosed, a hematologist will work with additional doctors to provide an effective course of treatment. They will communicate with family medical doctors, oncologists, surgeons, and other medical specialists in order to provide a complete care plan for each patient.
Blood testing will be necessary to determine a diagnosis. Additional treatments for blood conditions may include prescription medication, chemotherapeutic treatments in the case of blood cancers, surgery, or blood transfusions. Hematologists also work to ensure the safety of the blood supply in hospitals and blood banks when transfusions are necessary.
Conditions affecting the blood can be very serious and proactive, preventative treatments are often a part of a patient’s care plan. Irregular blood test results at your family doctor may require a referral to a hematologist for additional testing, diagnosis, and treatment.