What is a Bleeding Disorder?
A bleeding disorder is a condition that causes the blood to not clot properly. In people with bleeding disorders, the blood either lacks the ability to clot or clots too much. In individuals without a bleeding disorder, the blood platelets stick together at the site of the damaged blood vessel, creating a clot. The clot allows the blood vessel to heal.
What are the different types of Bleeding Disorders?
There are many different bleeding disorders. The most common ones are:
- Hemophilia- Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. There are two different types of Hemophilia: Type A and Type B.
- Type A Hemophilia is the most common type of the condition. It is caused by a deficiency of factor VIII. Factor VIII is a protein that assists in the formation of blood clots.
- Type B Hemophilia is caused by deficiency of factor IX. Factor IX is another protein that assists in the formation of blood clots.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease- Von Willebrand’s Disease is the most common bleeding disorder in the United States, affecting up to 1% of the population. Like hemophilia, Von Willebrand’s Disease prevents the blood from clotting properly. The key difference between Von Willebrand’s disease and hemophilia is that patients with Von Willebrand’s Disease either have a missing or defective von Willebrand Factor while patients with hemophilia are lacking Factor VIII or IX.
- Factor I, II, V, VII, X, XI, XII, or XIII Deficiencies- Any of these factor deficiencies are rare. These proteins are generally found in the bloodstream and assist with blood clotting.
What are the symptoms of Bleeding Disorders?
Symptoms of bleeding disorders include:
- Bruising Easily
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive bleeding from small cuts
- Excessive bleeding following surgery or dental work
- Unexplained nosebleeds
- Bleeding into joints
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
About 1 in 5,000 males is born with either Hemophilia A or B.
Approximately 1/3 of infants diagnosed with a bleeding disorders are born with a mutation that is not found in the family's medical history.
Around 15%-20% of those with hemophilia will develop an inhibitor that harms the ability of the clotting factor to discontinue bleeding.
What causes Bleeding Disorders?
Bleeding disorders are the result of blood not being able to clot properly. For blood to clot, clotting factors and platelets need to be available in the blood stream. Most bleeding disorders are inherited and the result of a gene mutation, however, they can develop later in life under certain conditions. A deficiency in clotting factors or platelets may lead to a bleeding disorder. Other causes of bleeding disorders may include:
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Certain medications
- Low red blood cell count
How are Bleeding Disorders treated?
Bleeding disorders can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the type and the severity Treatment plans include:
- Transfusions- A transfusion of clotting factors and platelets may be given
- Vitamin K- Vitamin K treatments may be given to help the blood clot
- Medications-Medications are available to help improve the body’s ability to produce its own clotting factors or platelets
How does Noble help me manage my Bleeding Disorder?
At Noble Health Services, we offer a variety of medications to help you treat your symptoms. We help you manage your condition through our Signature Care Program, which includes medication delivery, 24/7/365 on-call support, benefits and co-pay assistance and more. For more information on what medications we offer for bleeding disorders, please view the enrollment form.