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WHAT IS A BLEEDING DISORDER?
What is a Bleeding Disorder?
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What is a Bleeding Disorder?
Bleeding disorders is a general term for a wide range of medical problems
that lead to poor blood clotting and continuous bleeding. Doctors also
call them terms such as coagulopathy, abnormal bleeding and clotting disorders.
When someone has a bleeding disorder they have a tendency to bleed longer.
The disorders can result from defects in the blood vessels or from abnormalities
in the blood itself. The abnormalities may be in blood clotting factors
or in platelets.
Blood clotting, or coagulation, is the process that controls bleeding.
It changes blood from a liquid to a solid. It's a complex process involving
as many as 20 different plasma proteins, or blood clotting factors. Normally,
a complex chemical process occurs using these clotting factors to form
a substance called fibrin that stops bleeding. When certain coagulation
factors are deficient or missing, the process doesn't occur normally.
seconds of an injury, tiny cells in the blood, called platelets, bunch
together around the wound. Blood proteins, platelets, calcium and other
tissue factors react together and form what's called a clot, which acts
like a net over the wound. Over the next several days to weeks, the clot
strengthens, then dissolves when the wound is healed.
In people with bleeding disorders, clotting factors are missing or don't
work as they should. This causes them to bleed for a longer time than
those whose blood factor levels are normal. It's a myth that persons with
bleeding disorders bleed to death from minor injuries or their blood flows
Bleeding problems can range from mild to severe.
Abnormal menstrual bleeding
Bleeding disorder risks include:
Scarring of the joints or joint disease
Vision loss from bleeding into the eye
Chronic anemia from blood loss. Anemia is a low red blood cell
Neurologic or psychiatric problems
8 Death, which may occur with large amounts of blood loss or bleeding
in critical areas, such as the brain.
Some bleeding disorders are present at birth and are caused by rare inherited
disorders. Others are developed during certain illnesses (such as vitamin
K deficiency, severe liver disease), or treatments (such as use of anticoagulant
drugs or prolonged use of antibiotics). They can include hemophilia and
other very rare blood disorders. There are many causes of bleeding disorders,
von Willebrand's disease , which is an inherited blood disorder
thought to affect between 1% and 2% of the population
Immune system-related diseases, such as allergic reactions to medications,
or reactions to an infection
Cancer, such as leukemia, which is a blood cancer
Bone marrow problems
Disseminated intravascular coagulation, which is a condition often
associated with child bearing, cancer, or infection, in which the body's
clotting system functions abnormally
Pregnancy-associated eclampsia, also known as severe toxicity of
Organ transplant rejection o Hemophilia A and B , which are inherited
Exposure to snake venom
Antibodies, a type of immune system protein, that destroy blood
Medicines, such as aspirin, heparin, warfarin, and drugs used to
break up blood clots
Congenital bleeding disorders are very rare, and with the exception of
hemophilia von Willebrand disease, education about them has not been a
priority of the medical community. Most have only been discovered and
described in the past few decades.
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information only. NHF does not give medical advice or engage in the practice
of medicine. NHF under no circumstances recommends particular treatment
for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your
physician or local treatment center before pursuing any course of treatment.
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