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Bleeding Disorders

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A bleeding disorder is a general term used to describe a wide range of medical problems leading to poor blood clotting and abnormal bleeding. When someone has a bleeding disorder, they tend to bleed longer. They do not bleed harder or faster than a person without a bleeding disorder. Small cuts or surface bruises are usually not a problem. More tramatic injuries can result in life-threatening bleeds and crippling deformities of the joints.
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Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder which causes the blood to not clot properly. Hemophilia is very rare. Currently, about 20,000 males in the United States have the disorder. Blood contains many proteins called clotting factors that help to stop bleeding. People with hemophilia have either a low level of these clotting factors or none at all.
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von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is the most common bleeding disorder, found in approximately 1% of the U.S. population. vWD is a blood disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. Blood contains many proteins that help the body stop bleeding. One of these proteins is called von Willebrand factor (vWF). People with vWD either have a low level of vWF in their blood or the vWF protein doesn’t work the way it should.
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Rare clotting factor deficiencies are disorders in which one of several clotting factors is missing or not working properly. Less is known about these disorders because they are diagnosed so rarely. In fact, many have only been discovered in the last 40 years.
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Inherited platelet function disorders are conditions in which platelets don’t work the way they should, resulting in a tendency to bleed or bruise.
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Assisting and Advocating for the Bleeding Disorders Community