Haematology

Haematology is the science or study of blood and blood diseases.  In healthcare, haematology refers to the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have disorders of the blood and bone marrow. These are wide-ranging benign and malignant disorders of your red and white blood cells, platelets and your bone marrow. Haematology patients are those with anaemia, haemophilia or clotting disorders as well as those with malignant conditions such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma.

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What is haematology?

In healthcare, haematology refers to the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have disorders of the blood and bone marrow. These are wide-ranging benign and malignant disorders of your red and white blood cells, platelets and your bone marrow.

Haematology patients are those with anaemia, haemophilia or clotting disorders as well as those with malignant conditions such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma.

Why is haematology important?

Haematology is important as it is a specialist area in the diagnosis and treatment of blood problems and related structures, such as your bone marrow.

A haematologist will perform blood tests, biopsies, chemotherapy and transfusions. They take an active part in all stages of a patient’s care, from investigations to diagnosis and treatment and follow-up.

Why would I be referred to a haematologist?

If you’ve been referred to a haematologist, your GP or hospital doctor may suspect you have a blood disease or condition such as anaemia, haemophilia, leukaemia or lymphoma. This may be due to symptoms you are showing or the result of an abnormal blood count.

What diseases does a haematologist treat?

The most common diseases a haematologist treats include:

  • Haemophilia – is usually an inherited condition that prevents your blood from clotting. .
  • Thrombophilia – is a hereditary disease that causes thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is where blood clots form inside a deep vein. .
  • Anaemia – is a common disorder in which you don’t have enough red blood cells in your body. It can cause feelings of fatigue and heaviness. .
  • Sickle cell disease - is a condition in which your red blood cells are unusually-shaped, do not live as long as healthy blood cells and can block blood vessels. Sickle cell anaemia is the most serious type of this disease. .
  • Neutropenia - a condition that means that you have lower-than-normal levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, in your blood. It causes a higher risk of serious infections. .
  • Haematological cancers.
    • Leukaemia – causes a rise in the number of white blood cells in your body to crowd out your red blood cells and platelets. These leukaemia cells behave differently from healthy blood cells. .
    • Lymphoma - when white blood cells, called lymphocytes, grow out of control. Lymphocytes build-up usually in your lymph nodes. .
    • Myeloma - develops from cells in your bone marrow, called plasma cells. .
    • Sepsis – is when your body has an unusually severe response to an infection. .
    • Thalassaemia - is a group of inherited conditions that affect the haemoglobin in your blood and you produce either no or too little haemoglobin.

What are haematology symptoms?

Haematology symptoms will depend on the exact haematology condition you have. You should check the exact symptoms of your condition.

Some common symptoms of haematology diseases and disorders include:

  • Fatigue
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Recurrent nose bleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Bleeding from wounds that lasts a long time
  • Pale skin

What is a haematology test?

A haematology test is usually performed to find out if a blood disorder is causing the symptoms you have. Haematology tests usually count your blood cells, measure enzymes and proteins in your blood, and check whether your blood is clotting the way it should.

of the most common haematology tests is the complete blood count (CBC). It evaluates your overall health and can detect a wide range of disorders, including anaemia, clotting problems, blood cancers, immune system disorders and infections.

A complete blood count test measures several elements of your blood, including:

  • Red blood cells that carry oxygen
  • White blood cells that fight infection
  • Haemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells
  • Haematocrit, is the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component, or plasma, in your blood
  • Platelets that help with blood clotting

A haematologist may also perform a bone marrow biopsy mainly to help diagnose a disease or condition involving your bone marrow or blood cells, or to determine the stage or progression of a disease.

What are the costs of a haematology test?

The cost of a haematology test will depend on your suspected haematology condition, the test or tests performed, and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your test following a consultation with one of our expert haematologists. This formal quote will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Haematology tests are covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your test.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your test yourself. These include interest-free finance with no deposit and monthly instalments at 0% interest, all-inclusive Total Care where you make a one-off payment at a pre-agreed price or pay as you go that offers a flexible funding option.

What is the recovery process after haematology?

The recovery process after a haematology test should be quick.

If you have a blood test, only a small amount of blood is taken so you shouldn't feel any significant after-effects. Some people feel dizzy and faint during and after a haematology test. If this happens, we will try to make sure you are comfortable.

If you’ve had a bone marrow biopsy, you may feel some tenderness for a week afterwards. You should be able to return to your normal activities as soon as you feel up to them.

Haematology at Ramsay Health Care

Ramsay Health Care works alongside highly skilled and qualified haematologists.

They perform and interpret haematology tests to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and diseases. In addition, they determine the specific cause of the condition, monitor a patient’s progress while undergoing treatment and provide long-term care and management for patients who have chronic blood disorders.

Patients have easy access to our haematology services with convenient appointments.

All Ramsay hospitals follow strict protocols to control and prevent infection, including Covid 19.

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Our expert consultants are committed to offering excellent care as soon as you need it; that's why they dedicate time to offer complimentary advice, with no obligation, so you can be sure before making a decision. Hear and speak to a Consultant within the speciality of your choice; get the information you need and all your questions answered to help you make a decision on your next steps in your healthcare journey.

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