Von Willebrand’s disease
A genetic lifelong bleeding disorder alike to haemophilia. Those people with the condition have a reduced concentration in their blood of a substance called von Willebrand factor, which assists platelets to plug injured blood vessel walls and forms part of factor v111 (a substance that is vital to blood coagulation).
Symptoms include excessive bleeding from the gums and from nosebleeds and cuts. Women can have very heavy menstrual bleeding. In extreme cases, bleeding into muscles and joints can arise.
The condition is diagnosed by blood clotting tests and measurement of blood levels of von Willebrand factor. Bleeding episodes can be controlled or prevented by decompressing (a substance that is alike to ADH). Factor v111 or concentrated von Willebrand factor can also be used to treat the bleeding symptoms.