Questions About Bleeding Disorders
What's a Bleeding Disorder?
A bleeding disorder is a flaw in the bodys
clotting system. Blood clotting (also known as coagulation)
is the process that controls bleeding by changing blood from
a liquid to a solid state. Certain parts of the blood are
known as clotting factors. These clotting factors are missing
or do not work as they should in people with bleeding disorders.
This causes them to bleed for longer periods of time than
people whose blood factor levels are normal or work properly.
The beliefs that persons with bleeding disorders bleed to
death from paper cuts or that their blood flows faster are
Women with undiagnosed bleeding disorders risk life-threatening
complications during childbirth, surgery, accidents,
and injury as well as internal bleeding and cranial bleeds.
The most common bleeding disorder in women and girls is von
Willebrand disease (VWD)---1% to 2% of the population
or, approximately 1.4 to 2.8 million nationwide.
VWD, which is genetically transmitted from generation
to generation, is caused by a defect or deficiency of an
essential blood clotting protein (von Willebrand factor).