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What is a Bleeding Disorder?

Bleeding disorders are rare health conditions where a person’s blood doesn’t clot properly. This means that if someone with a bleeding disorder has an injury that causes bleeding, they may bleed for longer because their blood takes longer to clot (stop running) than other people’s. This happens because there is not enough clotting factor in the blood. A clotting factor is an ingredient (e.g. a protein) in the blood that controls bleeding. When a person has an injury that causes bleeding, there are over 20 proteins involved in the process to make a clot that stops the bleeding. Some of the key proteins are clotting factor VIII (8), clotting factor IX (9) and von Willebrand factor.

The most common bleeding disorders are haemophilia and von Willebrand disorder. Haemophilia is caused by low levels of clotting factor VIII (8) or clotting factor IX (9). Von Willebrand disorder is caused by low levels of von Willebrand factor. People are born with these bleeding disorders. You can’t catch them.




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