Blood Disorder Impairments

Blood Disorders & Workers’ Compensation: What You Need to Know

Blood Disorder play an important role in the California Workers’ Compensation.  Certain Blood Disorders can be considered as industrial injuries for which compensation may be sought.  Certain Blood Disorders can be a complicating factor in an Injured Worker’s treatment for their industrial injury. Blood Disorders are of such importance in California Workers’ Compensation Law, that there are specific Labor Code Sections which address issues concerning Blood Disorders.  This article will limit itself to these topics. This article will not address the Circulatory System. i.e the Heart. 

What Is Blood?

Blood is a body fluid which is responsible for supplying the Human Body with nutrition, oxygen and providing for waste removal.  Blood contains cells and proteins.  Blood contains a liquid called Plasma.   Plasma contains proteins. These proteins help the blood to clot.   Plasma transports substances through the blood and performs other functions.   Plasma contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients.

Blood also contains both Red and White Blood Cells.  Red Blood Cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to tissues.  White Blood Cells are responsible for fighting infections.  Also, there are Platelet Cells which assist in the clotting of blood.

What Field Of Medicine Treats Blood Disorders?

Hematologists are the Doctors who specialize in the treatment of Blood Disorders.   Blood Disorders and Blood Problems can arise from the various components of the circulatory system which include:

  • red blood cells
  • white blood cells
  • platelets
  • blood vessels
  • bone marrow
  • lymph nodes
  • the spleen
  • the protein involved in bleeding and clotting

What Are the Different Types of Blood Disorder?

Blood Disorders can be involved with the various components within the circulatory system. Blood Disorders include:

  • Anemia
  • Bacteremia
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
  • Hematomas
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Hemorrhages
  • Leukemia
  • Leukopenia
  • Lymphoma
  • Malaria
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Polycythemia
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thrombocytopenia

What Testing Is Done Concerning Blood Disorder Impairments?


Some of the testing done for Blood Disorders include:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Blood Smear
  • Blood Type
  • Coombs Test
  • Blood Culture
  • Mixing Study
  • Bone Marrow Biopsy

What Treatments Are Available For Blood Treatment?

Some of the treatments available for Blood Disorders include:

  • chemotherapy
  • blood transfusions
  • platelet transfusions
  • fresh frozen plasma
  • cryoprecipitate
  • anticoagulation drugs
  • antiplatelet drugs
  • antibiotics
  • erythropoietin
  • bloodletting

What Is Anemia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Anemia is a blood condition which involves an abnormally lower red blood cell count.  In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related anemia may need to be treated so that an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Bacteremia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Bacteremia is an infection of the blood.   In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related Bacteremia may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Deep Venous Thrombosis? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

A Deep Venous Thrombosis(DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein. They usually are located in the legs and travel to the lungs.  DVTs and illnesses related to them can be workers’ compensation-related.  DVT conditions and illnesses can be aggravated by prolonged sitting. There are workers who develop DVTs from prolonged sitting at work can file a workers’ compensation claim as a result.

What Is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

This is a condition in which there is simultaneous bleeding and clotting involving blood vessels. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related disseminated intravascular coagulation may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is A Hematoma? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

A Hematoma is a collection of blood inside the bodies tissue.   Hematomas can be caused by internal bleeding. An example of industrially-related Hematoma is one in which an Injured Worker, has a head injury, and as a result, suffers from internal bleeding which results in a hematoma.

What Is Hemochromatosis? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Hemochromatosis is a blood disorder that causes an excessive level of iron in the blood.   This iron can deposit in various organs. It can cause liver problems and diabetes. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related Hemochromatosis may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Hemolytic Anemia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?



Hemolytic Anemia is caused by the rapid bursting of large numbers of red blood cells.  This can be the result of an immune system malfunction. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related hemolytic anemia may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Hemophilia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Hemophilia is a condition which involves a deficiency of blood clotting proteins. While Hemophilia is not work-related, there are medications, such as blood thinners, which essentially transform an individual into a state similar to that of hemophilia. As a result, the Injured Workers taking blood thinner medication causes them to be in a hemophilia-like condition and have a hemophilia-like impairment.  Therefore, that condition, if they are required to take the medication on an ongoing basis, may be considered as a Blood Disorder Impairment which could translate into a permanent disability percentage.

What Is A Hemorrhage? How Can It Be Workers Compensation Related?

A Hemorrhage aka Bleeding occurs when blood is leaking from the blood vessels. This Hemorrhage can be from a puncture of the skin or from internal bleeding.   One example of an Industrial Hemorrhage could include a chef cutting their finger with a knife and starting to bleed.  Another example of an Industrial Hemorrhage is a Truck Driver involved in a serious car accident in which they sustain internal bleeding.

What Is A Hypercoagulable State?  How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?



A Hypercoagulable State is one which can result as a result of the blood being prone to clotting. Clotting can cause Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Clots in the Legs. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related Hypercoagulable State may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Leukemia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Leukemia is a form of blood cancer. It affects the white blood cell.  When the white blood cells are abnormal, an individual becomes more susceptible to getting sick from infections.   An example of industrially-related leukemia is a cancer claim filed by a Safety or Law Enforcement Officer. It is not uncommon that a Firefighter or Police Officer can file a claim for leukemia due to their various exposures to cancer-causing agents in the workplace.  Further, some may possess a cancer presumption that may apply to their claim.

What Is Leukopenia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

This is a blood condition that involves a low number of white blood cells. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related leukopenia may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Lymphoma? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

A lymphoma is a form of blood cancer.   It can cause organ failure.  It impacts the white blood cells. An example of industrially-related leukemia is a cancer claim filed by a Safety or Law Enforcement Officer. It is not uncommon that a Firefighter or Police Officer can file a claim for lymphoma due to their various exposures to cancer-causing agents in the workplace.  Further, some may possess a cancer presumption that may apply to their claim.

What Is Malaria? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Malaria is a red blood cell infection.   It is transmitted by mosquitos and is, therefore, a blood-borne illness. An example of an Industrial Malaria Injury would be a worker who works in California and, as part of their work, travels to Africa. While there, they get bitten by a mosquito and contract Malaria.

What Is Multiple Myeloma? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related? 

Multiple Myeloma is a form of blood cancer which involves the plasma cells.  An example of industrially-related leukemia is a cancer claim filed by a Safety or Law Enforcement Officer. It is not uncommon that a Firefighter or Police Officer can file a claim for Multiple Myeloma due to their various exposures to cancer-causing agents in the workplace.  Further, some may possess a cancer presumption that may apply to their claim.

What Is A Myocardial Infarction? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Myocardial Infarctions are also called heart attacks. They occur when there is a sudden blood clot which develops in a coronary artery.  Myocardial Infarctions can be work-related due to heavy work or emotionally stressful conditions.  Further, Law Enforcement and Safety Officers are afforded a heart presumption and file claims when they have heart attacks.

What Is Polycythemia?  How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Polycythemia is when there are abnormally high numbers of red blood cells. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related polycythemia state may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Sickle Cell Disease? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disease impacting the red blood cells.  The red blood cells lose their shape. These deformed blood cells can deposit in tissues and cause pain and organ damage. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related sickle cell may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

What Is Thrombocytopenia? How Can It Be Workers’ Compensation Related?

This is a blood condition that involves a low number of platelets in the blood. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a concept that treatment is required for non-industrial conditions so that treatment for industrial conditions can be treated.   An example of this is that an Injured Worker’s non-industrially related thrombocytopenia may need to be treated so an Injured Worker can be cleared to have an industrially-related surgery or procedure.

Is There Permanent Disability For Blood Disorders?

Yes. In the AMA Guides 5th Edition, there are various tables which address Blood Disorders.  These Tables include ones for Anemia, White Blood Cell Disease, and the one for Hemorrhagic and Platelet Disorders.   Further, Blood Disorders may impact other organs and body systems. As a result, other tables may be needed to provide an accurate assessment of one’s impairment as a result of a Blood Disorder condition, i.e. the Cardiovascular Impairments may be applicable in the event of a clot which causes a Myocardial Infarction.

Are There Labor Code Sections Address Blood Disorders?

Yes.  There is a Labor Code Section for which are applicable to blood disorders. Labor Code Section 3212.8, provides a blood-borne disease presumption to some Safety and Law Enforcement Personnel. Also, there is section which provides for a cancer presumption.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 26 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

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