Donate to Von Willebrand Disease Research, Patient Care and Education

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common inherited clotting disorder, and is estimated to affect up to one percent of the population.VWD is caused by a lack of blood clotting protein called von Willebrand factor (VWF) that helps platelets in the blood bond together. These platelets form a plug that seals off tears in injured blood vessels. A platelet plug will not form if there is not enough von Willebrand factor in the body. Because of this, bleeding will last for a longer amount of time. Northwestern Medicine has a team of skilled hematologists that provide diagnosis and advanced treatments of disorders of the blood system. By donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will play a major role in the continuation of von Willebrand research, making it possible to develop the most effective treatments to regulate patient symptoms.  

Physicians at Northwestern University Center for Bleeding Disorders are leaders in the area of von Willebrand disease, and are highly skilled in recognizing symptoms associated with the condition. Some people with VWD have few symptoms, while others commonly experience:

  • Large bruises from minor injuries
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Frequent nosebleeds that may be difficult to stop
  • Abnormal bleeding from medical or dental procedures
  • Unusual bleeding from the gums

Blood testing is conducted in order to make a VWD diagnosis and determine the type of disease affecting the patient. There are three major types of VWD:

  • Type 1: A small amount of Von Willebrand factor is present
  • Type 2: Von Willebrand factor is present, but is not working properly
  • Type 3: No von Willebrand factor is present in the blood

There are a few different treatment options available for people affected by Von Willebrand disease. Long-term medication typically is not needed unless there is continuous bleeding inside the body. Desmopressin, a hormone medication, triggers the body to release more VWF into the bloodstream. This hormone is usually administered when excessive bleeding occurs or as a preventive measure before a medical or dental procedure. Von Willebrand factor replacement therapy and antifibrinolytic drugs may be used to prevent blood clots from being destroyed.

Von Willebrand Disease Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Though these current treatments manage symptoms for most patients, physicians on the medical staff at Northwestern Medicine are continuously seeking more effective, less invasive options. Your gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will ensure that these new interventions are developed and implemented in patients with von Willebrand disease.

Living life with von Willebrand disease can present many challenges. Sufferers of this disease are burdened with severe bleeding, anemia, heavy menstrual periods and difficulty with pregnancy. With a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help ease this burden by providing an opportunity for physicians to conduct groundbreaking research, bring treatment options to the next level and provide education and support to patients and families affected by von Willebrand disease. Your support is appreciated by both Northwestern Medicine and the men, women and children that deal with this disease each day.

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