Hematology involves the study of the diagnosis, treatment, outcome and prevention of blood diseases. Hematology includes investigation of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, blood vessels, bone marrow, lymph nodes and organs such as the spleen. Hematologists also study the fluid portion of blood (plasma), which has important proteins involved in bleeding and clotting. Blood diseases can affect both the production and destruction of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets or plasma-clotting proteins.
Blood is key to help you function normally. Red blood cells carry oxygen to cells throughout your body, white blood cells help you fight infections and help with your immunity, and platelets assist in stopping bleeding—as do plasma-clotting proteins. Having a healthy supply of blood is important for your overall health.
A hematologist is a medical doctor who applies this specialized knowledge to treat patients with blood conditions.
Hematologic medical conditions that deserve focused attention include: anemia, including iron-deficiency anemia; platelet and white blood cell disorders; sickle cell disease; and bleeding and clotting disorders.