Bleeding disorders are a family of diseases in which blood proteins or platelets that help the blood to clot are missing or do not function properly, resulting in prolonged bleeding.
About 300,000 Canadians carry an inherited bleeding disorder gene. One in ten of these people—at least 30,000 Canadians—have symptoms severe enough to require medical care. Many of them have not been properly diagnosed. Only 10,000 people with inherited bleeding disorders are registered in the Canadian network of inherited bleeding disorder comprehensive care clinics.
Inherited bleeding disorders are a family of diseases in which blood proteins or platelets that help the blood to clot are missing or do not function properly, resulting in prolonged bleeding. These conditions include hemophilia A and B, von Willebrand disease, rare factor deficiencies (factors I, II, V, VII, X, XI, XIII), and platelet function disorders. While surface cuts and abrasions can create minor problems, the main risk for children and adults with these disorders is internal bleeding, mainly into muscles and joints or vital organs, which can cause death. For women there are additional risks: heavy menstrual periods, which in the absence of proper diagnosis can lead to reduced quality of life, unnecessary hysterectomies, and the risk of hemorrhaging during childbirth. For all people with inherited bleeding disorders, prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery can be life threatening.
The inherited bleeding disorders are: