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Introduction

Is medical treatment always necessary for bleeds?

No. Minor bleeding episodes associated with VWD often do not require medical treatment. For example:

• Small bruises usually disappear on their own
• Larger bruises or minor bleeding into muscles or joints can often be controlled by applying cold (an ice pack wrapped in a towel) and elevating the limb
• Bleeding from minor cuts can be stopped by applying pressure.
• Nose bleeds may be stopped with simple first aid techniques (See Nose bleeds.)

However, sometimes medical treatment is necessary. The type of treatment depends in part on the type of VWD a person has.

Where is the best place for a person with von Willebrand disease to get treatment?

Few doctors are familiar with VWD. Even hematologists, who deal with diseases of the blood, are rarely experts in diagnosing and treating bleeding disorders. Many obstetricians and gynecologists remain unaware of the consequences of VWD for women.

Therefore, the best place for a person with VWD to get treatment is a Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorder Treatment Centre. (See Comprehensive care.)

Once a proper diagnosis has been made, and a treatment plan has been organized, the doctors at the Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorder Comprehensive Care Program can work with the individual and his/her family physician to provide care.