Scope of Haematology
Blood transfusing is often a very common solution to treat several side effect of any illness or as a compensation for blood loss from a treatment or surgery. But there are several illnesses that originate in the blood itself. Several hospital offer screening and treatment of the same. Haematology is the umbrella term for the branch that deals with diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care of diseases related to blood. The term is originated from Greek words ‘haima’ implying blood, and ‘logy’ implying to study.
These diseases can originate or affect any of the blood components such as blood cells, bone marrow, blood protein, blood vessels, platelets, coagulation, and spleen. Let’s understand what are the components of blood is and medical conditions surface under each of the components
The main components of blood as are as follows:
- RBC or Red Blood Cells – it carries oxygen to tissues
- WBC or White Blood Cells – it fights infections
- Platelets – it helps in blood clotting
- Plasma – it reserves protein and performs several other functions
Blood diseases that affect RBC are:
a. Anaemia – the body has a low level of RBC
b. Pernicious Anaemia (B12 deficiency) – prohibits the body to absorb B12 from the diet.
c. Aplastic anaemia – the body does not produce adequate blood cells, mainly RBC
d. Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia – the body’s overactive immune system destroys its own RBC
e. Sickle cell anaemia – a genetic disease that makes the blood cell crumple into sickle shape
f. Polycythaemia Vera – the body produces too many blood cells that may cause blood clot
g. Malaria – an infection triggered by a parasite that enters the bloodstream through a vector (mosquito’s bite) that makes RBC burst.
h. Thalassemia – a genetic disease with features of severe anaemia, that often need a regular blood transfusion to survive.
Click here to learn more about Thalassemia.
Blood diseases that affect WBC are:
a. Lymphoma – a type of malignant blood cancer originating in the lymph system.
b. Leukaemia – another type of blood cancer originating in WBC.
c. Multiple myelomas – yet another type of blood cancer which affects the white blood plasma.
d. Myelodysplastic syndrome – a group of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow.
Blood diseases that affect platelets are:
a. Thrombocytopenia – the presence of low level of platelets in blood
b. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura – onset of the above illness due to unknown cause
c. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia – onset of the above illness due to the reaction against heparin
d. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura – a low platelet count due to the blood clot in blood vessels
e. Essential thrombocytosis (primary thrombocythemia) – the body produces excessive platelets causing a clot and/or bleeding.
Blood diseases that affect plasma are:
a. Haemophilia – a genetically inducing protein deficiency that causes severe blood clot
b. Von Will brand disease – a form of haemophilia that might result in the excessive blood due to an injury or surgery
c. Hypercoagulable state (hypercoagulable state) – a condition that often results in blood clot and needs blood thinner on a regular basis
Deep venous thrombosis – having a blood clot in the deep vein of the leg that can even travel to lung or heart.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) – a condition that causes multiple tiny clots throughout the body, simultaneously.
Most of these illnesses can be treated effectively if diagnosed on time.