Hematology is the science or medical specialty that studies the state and functioning of blood cells and their biochemical interaction with other elements.
The word comes from the Greek terms haimato, which means ‘blood’, and loggia, which means ‘study or treaty’. The professionals of this science or medical discipline are called hematologists.
While the word hematology is a medical specialty in itself, it is also used to refer to the specific study of a case. For example: “The doctor sent me to perform a hematology.” In this sense, the meaning of the word is equivalent to “a study of blood.”
As a medical specialty, hematology has the purpose of tracking the patient’s health status at the chemical level, either to prevent problems or to identify diseases.
There are many studies that can be applied in hematology to identify specific problems. The most common test that is practiced is usually profile 20, also called general profile.
This type of study is usually the first one indicated to a patient, and its purpose is to verify the general state of the organism, based on the evaluation of elementary indicators. Any abnormality identified may require a new but specific blood test.
The general blood profile allows you to evaluate the behavior of the kidneys, bone tissue, liver and pancreas, as well as other organs. This is possible by assessing the levels of:
- Uric acid;
- Total cholesterol;
- HDL or good cholesterol;
- LDL or bad cholesterol;
- Uretic nitrogen in blood;
- Transaminase (AST and ALT);
- Alkaline phosphatase;
- Bilirubin; etc.
Other hematological studies may include the study of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, hormones, plasma proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc.
Diseases treated by hematology
In addition to collaborating with various medical specialties, hematology as a specialty specifically addresses a number of health problems of the blood system. Among these we can mention the following:
- Hemophilia and various coagulation diseases;
- Uremic syndrome;
- Myelodysplastic syndrome;
- Leukocytosis; etc.