Hematology is the study of blood, both the cells and the fluid portion, called plasma. The cells include the red blood cells which carry oxygen to the tissues, white blood cells which function in our bodily defense, and platelets which are a major player in blood clotting. The plasma carries nutrients, other bodily chemicals and messengers, and contains coagulation factors which help the platelets in the clotting process. As medical lab scientists, we study the origins of each of the blood components, the diseases in any of these components, and how we can utilize laboratory methods to help monitor the health of and diagnose diseases of the blood. For example, a medical lab scientist may perform a patient’s complete blood count (CBC) by means of a sophisticated instrument. This blood count may be used by the physician or health-care provider to diagnose sickle-cell anemia, leukemia or an extreme infection. A medical lab scientist can also evaluate the coagulation system by testing plasma and platelet components, for example, to help monitor a patient with hemophilia, or a heart-attack victim on blood-thinners.