Patients are referred to General Haematology by GPs and hospital doctors.
The commonest reasons for referral to the general clinic are the finding of abnormalities on the blood count or symptoms experienced by the patient that the referring doctor thinks may be caused by a disease of
blood, bone marrow or sometimes the lymph nodes.
The kind of abnormalities in the blood count include the following.
Anaemia- low haemoglobinor red blood cells
- Leucopenia - low white cells
- Thrombocytopenia - low platelets
- Polycythemia - too many red blood cells
- Leucocytosis - too many white blood cells
- Thrombocytosis - too many platelets
Many people referred to these clinics worry that they have a cancerous illness. This will be true for some, but the majority of patients referred to the general clinic do not have cancer.
All patients being seen in the clinic will be discussed with a consultant and most will see a consultant on their first visit.
Often additional investigations are required to help to make a diagnosis. These may include additional blood tests, and some patients will also need X-rays, scans and/or a bone marrow test.
If these tests are requested the patient will be seen with the results. Many patients can then be discharged from the Haematology Department, but some will need further investigation and treatment in a clinic specific for the type of illness which has been diagnosed.