Von Willebrand Disorder (VWD)

What is Von Willebrand disorder?

Von Willebrand disorder (VWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder (inherited means it is passed on from parent to child through their genes). People with VWD have a problem with a part of their blood that helps control bleeding, this is a protein called von Willebrand factor (VWF). They do not have enough of the protein or it does not work the way it should. It takes longer for blood to clot and for bleeding to stop.

VWD was named after the Finnish doctor Erik von Willebrand who discovered the condition. Dr von Willebrand described this new type of bleeding disorder after observing the bleeding problems of a large family in Scandinavia. VWD is also known as von Willebrand disease.

Date last reviewed: 21/06/2012