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All About Bleeding

Von Willebrand disease

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Key Issues Dialogue: von Willebrand Disease

Three well-known members of the bleeding disorders community met to discuss challenges and advances in diagnosis and treatment of von Willebrand disease.

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Signs of Bleeding

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disorders every day, use this site to quickly recognize five signs of bleeding that may indicate a coagulation disorder.
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Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common bleeding disorder, affecting up to 1% of all people. VWD is caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood protein called von Willebrand factor (VWF).

von Willebrand Factor

Von Willebrand Factor is essential for normal blood clotting. In primary hemostasis, VWF acts like a glue that initially makes platelets stick to the injured vessel wall. It also glues additional layers of platelets together to form a thrombus (primary platelet plug). Most people with mild/moderate VWD do not need treatment on a regular basis, but treatment may be considered for patients with severe VWD or in situations which challenge the hemostatic system such as surgery, trauma, or childbirth. Furthermore, von Willebrand factor is a chaperone protein for factor VIII, i.e. it carries and protects FVIII from premature degradation.

Symptoms of von Willebrand disease include:

  • Hematomas
  • Frequent epistaxis
  • Gingival bleeding
  • Menorrhagia
  • Prolonged bleeding after cuts or surgery
  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, soft tissue such as muscles, or joints in severe cases

VWD is an inherited disorder. However, there are medications and medical conditions that may lead to an acquired form of VWD.

Early Recognition and Diagnosis of von Willebrand Disease (National Association of School Nurses) Video

For more information about VWD treatments, please visit the following resources:

Product Websites

Voncento.co.uk (United Kingdom)

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Last Updated: 5/26/2016 11:48 AM
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