AMARILLO, Texas (July 27, 2011) — Texas Oncology-Amarillo Cancer Center has launched the Panhandle’s first comprehensive thrombosis and hemostasis program, which provides leading-edge testing and treatment for patients with bleeding and clotting disorders.
Thrombosis refers to the formation of abnormal blood clots that become embedded in a major vein or artery, blocking blood circulation. Blood clots can cause pain, swelling, or warmth in the affected area, and can be life-threatening. Hemostasis is the process of controlling bleeding.
The thrombosis and hemostasis program provides clinical support and consultation services to physicians, as well as round-the-clock care for patients with clotting and bleeding problems. The new program is co-directed by Vance Esler, M.D., FACP and Seah Lim, M.D., Ph.D, FRCP (Lond.), FRCPath., both board certified hematologists at Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center.
“Bleeding and clotting disorders are more common in our community than many people realize,” Dr. Esler said. “We created the program to meet the needs of patients and allow them to be treated close to home, right here in Amarillo. This comprehensive program, with its excellent resources and technology, will allow us to provide superior patient care in a convenient setting for the first time in this community.”
An integral aspect of the thrombosis and hemostasis program is the use of sophisticated platelet aggregation studies that help diagnose clotting and bleeding disorders. In a single appointment, patients can have blood drawn and processed using a platelet aggregometer – a device which measures blood platelet activity when exposed to various chemicals. The testing equipment is more sophisticated than that which many hospitals use, and provides additional detail that allows doctors to more accurately determine the best course of treatment for patients.
The platelet aggregometer’s ability to turn blood platelet results around in less time is especially beneficial for surgery patients who need to determine quickly if they may be at risk for excessive bleeding. This is also important for patients who have recurrent strokes, heart attacks and other problems with clots, as it allows physicians to promptly evaluate the effectiveness of certain medications, such as aspirin.
“This new program in Amarillo brings a new level of convenience to patients,” said Dr. Lim. “Blood platelets are only active for four hours after blood is drawn, so patients must be in the same facility as the platelet aggregometer in order to be tested. Prior to the launch of our thrombosis and hemostasis program at Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center, patients had to travel outside the Panhandle to have the tests performed.”
In addition, for other specialized clotting and bleeding tests, Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center collaborates with an internationally-recognized coagulation laboratory that provides complex test results within one to two days, instead of up to three weeks. This service enables physicians to more quickly diagnose patients and adjust their treatments as needed.
For more information about the comprehensive thrombosis and hemostasis program, contact Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center at 806-358-8654.