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Human Disease Project On...

von Willebrand Disease by John Hartford, Period 7

Life Issues

    What is von Willebrand's disease?
  • von Willebrand's disease is a bleeding disorder in which the vWD factor is very low.

Erik von Willebrand, MD, was the first to discover von Willebrands (vWD). vWD occurs in 1% to 3% of the US population, about 2.6 million people, yet only 30,000 cases have been officially diagnosed. Unlike hemophilia, it occurs equally among genders, yet women are affected more severely because of menstruation and childbirth. Many with the disorder are unaware of the true cause of their symptoms or that treatment is available. While there is no cure, it can be treated. The treatment is with a spray, "Stimate". A small bottle may cost up to $500 without insurance. However insurance provides it to me for a price of $20. Without proper diagnosis, people with vWD can die unnecessarily during surgery, trauma, or menses.

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is not a disease at all, but is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. It is less widely known than hemophilia. Unlike hemophilia, which affects only males, vWD affects males and females equally. People with vWD take longer to stop bleeding due to defects or deficiencies in a clotting factor protein called the von Willebrand factor (vWF). Patients with vWD have diminished production of von Willebrand factor or produce von Willebrand factor that does not function normally. This disorder affects both males and females equally, and the symptoms are usually not as severe as those of a person with hemophilia, but do include bleeding from the nose, mouth or intestinal tract. Von Willebrand disease is probably the most common of the inherited clotting disorders although it is generally the least severe.

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