Approach to patient with suspected haematological disease

An accurate history combined with a careful physical examination are fundamental parts of clinical assessment. Although the likely haematological diagnosis may be apparent from tests carried out before the patient has been referred, it is nevertheless essential to assess the clinical background fully—this may influence the eventual plan of management, especially in older patients.

It is important to find out early on in the consultation what the patient may already have been told prior to referral, or what he/she thinks the diagnosis may be. There is often fear and anxiety about diagnoses such as leukaemia, haemophilia or HIV infection.

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