John Kang WebMD | Basics of Blood and Hematology
One of the most essential tests done to check your body is a blood exam. For John Kang WebMD and other specialists, this procedure has plenty of uses, as the blood makeup of patients like its chemical levels, components, and other factors can be studied and identify illnesses and disorders in the body. John Kang WebMD says Hematologists are specialists that deal with the study of blood and blood-forming tissues. Image Source: Stanford Medicine – Stanford University
John Kang WebMD explains that to be a hematologist, one must know the basics first, starting with the composition of the blood. Normal blood composition is composed of four main components. Hematologists study and test the blood’s chemical levels, as these levels will tell a lot about one’s body.
- Red blood cells. Normally known as RBC, red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that has is unique in its makeup. It can pick up and carry oxygen, so it serves as the body’s “highway” for breathing. Hemoglobin in the red blood cells carries oxygen to different parts of the body, including the lungs.
- White blood cells. John Kang WebMD states that WBC acts as a defensive wall for the body in fighting germs and bacteria. White blood cells are composed of different cells with specific function. The neutrophil, the most common part of WBC, acts as shield against bacterial infection in the human body. The levels of neutrophil present in a blood test can tell if the body is currently fighting an infection. Meanwhile, the lymphocyte contains B-cells and T-cells and is responsible for fighting both bacterial and viral infections. They can also identify and destroy cancer cells.
- These are the tiny components critical in stopping bleeding. Low or high platelet counts in the body signals several issues, and may also be one of the initial symptoms of body disorder.
- This is the fluid part of the blood composed of water and other proteins such as coagulation factors, albumin, and antibodies.
Blood cells are formed in the common mother cell found in the body’s bone marrow called a stem cell.
The branch of internal medicine that primarily deals with the blood is hematology. Aside from interpreting blood tests, hematologists and experts like John Kang WebMD also deal with the disorders of the blood, lymphatic system, and the bone marrow. This includes clinical issues and treatment.
Since the blood is an all-encompassing component in the body, hematologists often branch out into other disciplines like oncology. There are also those that diagnose, treat, and study general internal medicine patients.
Education and training
Aside from having a medical degree, hematology fellowship requires two years of accredited training, separate from the residency years of a general internal medicine practice. Meanwhile, hematologists who will branch out into other disciplines require additional years of training as prescribed. For example, hematology-oncology practitioners need an additional three years of combined fellowship training before being given dual certification.
For those who will focus solely on the main discipline, they can deal with either benign or general hematology, or malignant hematology that focuses on cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues.