On May 13, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced legislation to promote awareness of and screening for all bleeding disorders. The Bleeding Disorder Screening, Awareness, and Further Education (SAFE) Act, (H.R. 1919), if adopted into law, will:
· Provide funding for screening young people for bleeding disorders, including at school.
· Increase research funding to improve diagnostic and treatment options, and better understand the prevalence of bleeding disorders.
· Provide funding to promote greater awareness of bleeding disorders among physicians, other healthcare professionals and the general public.
Hemophilia, von Willebrand disease (VWD) and other inherited bleeding disorders affect millions of men and women in the U.S. While hemophilia is often diagnosed in childhood, the vast majority of individuals with other bleeding disorders remain undiagnosed, often receiving inappropriate treatment for symptoms that, at times, could be life-threatening. For undiagnosed women, in particular, health risks can be further compounded by heavy menstrual periods and prolonged bleeding following injury, surgery and childbirth.