Blood is made of a number of substances needed to make it work properly. Normally, when a person gets a cut or injury, the blood’s clotting factors form a clot, which stops the bleeding. This process is known as clotting or coagulation.1
If there isn’t enough of a specific factor in the blood–or the factor doesn’t work properly–a clot can’t form to stop the bleeding. Without a proper clot, the bleeding lasts longer than normal. When the blood does not clot properly, it is known as a bleeding disorder.1
There are many different types of bleeding disorders, most of which are inherited (congenital).
Fortunately, treatments are available for many of these factor deficiencies, allowing most people with bleeding disorders to lead healthy, active lives.
von Willebrand disease (VWD)
VWD is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting both men and women. People with VWD either don’t have enough von Willebrand factor or their von Willebrand factor does not work as it should.2
Hemophilia A and B: 2 types of hemophilia
- Hemophilia A is the most common type of hemophilia3-5
- Affects about 80% of people with hemophilia
- Caused by a lack of factor VIII (FVIII) in the blood
- Also known as classic hemophilia (or factor VIII deficiency)
- Hemophilia B3,4,6
- Affects about 20% of people with hemophilia
- Caused by a deficiency of factor IX
- Also known as Christmas disease
Rare Bleeding Disorders
Many clotting factors are needed to properly form a blood clot. A deficiency in any one of these can cause a bleeding disorder. Besides VWD and hemophilia, there are numerous rare bleeding disorders caused by a lack of a specific factor.
- What happens when a person bleeds? Steps for Living website. http://stepsforliving.hemophilia.org/basics-of-bleeding-disorders/what-happens-when-a-person-bleeds. Accessed December 16, 2014.
- What is von Willebrand disease? National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vwd. Accessed October 21, 2014.
- Fast facts. National Hemophilia Foundation website. http://www.hemophilia.org/About-Us/Fast-Facts. Accessed October 14, 2014.
- Frequently asked questions about hemophilia. Foundation website. http://www.hemophilia.org/walk/docs/NHFFAQs.pdf. Accessed October 14, 2014.
- Hemophilia A. National Hemophilia Foundation website. http://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Hemophilia-A. Accessed October 14, 2014.
- Hemophilia B. National Hemophilia Foundation website. http://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Hemophilia-B. Accessed October 14, 2014.