About Blood Disorders
A bleeding disorder is a genetic blood clotting deficiency caused by the absence or inactivity of an essential blood clotting protein, or “factor.” This deficiency causes the body to form unstable blood clots that allow bleeding to continue longer than normal.
A person with a bleeding disorder can experience frequent and often spontaneous episodes of prolonged bleeding. The most severe cases can have extensive bleeding into joints, muscles and vital organs, resulting in life-threatening emergencies and crippling long-term complications.
Hemophilia and related bleeding disorders, such as Von Willebrand disease, are genetically inherited. However, one in three diagnosed cases of hemophilia results from a spontaneous genetic mutation where there is no family history of abnormal bleeding.
Approximately 20,000 people in the United States are affected by Hemophilia, which occurs almost exclusively in males. An estimated 280,000 males and females live with Von Willebrand disease.