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Symptoms of Von Willebrand Disease

 

Signs and symptoms of von Willebrand disease range from mild to severe. This depends on which type of the disease your child has. Most people with this disease have a mild type.

 

All of the symptoms relate to excess bleeding because von Willebrand disease keeps blood from clotting well.

 

If your child has this illness, you may notice symptoms like these:

 

  • Nosebleeds that last longer than normal or recur
  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding that lasts longer than normal, such as after a cut, after a tooth is pulled, or after surgery
  • For girls, heavy menstrual periods

 

When excess bleeding is severe, it can be dangerous. But serious effects like these are rare. Even if your child has a severe type of von Willebrand disease, treatment can help prevent serious problems.

 

Von Willebrand Disease Diagnosis

 

If your child's disease is mild, you may not notice any symptoms after common minor injuries, like small cuts. There may be no sign of bleeding problems until a major event, like surgery or serious injury. Then doctors will begin tests to learn the cause of the bleeding problem. If your child's disease is mild, you may not notice any symptoms after common minor injuries, like small cuts. There may be no sign of bleeding problems until a major event, like surgery or serious injury. Then doctors will begin tests to learn the cause of the bleeding problem.

 

If your child's disease is severe, you will likely notice signs and symptoms of bleeding problems early in your child's life, even during infancy.

 

If your child seems to have a bleeding problem, the doctor will ask questions about your child's bleeding. For example, the doctor may ask about bleeding that happens for no clear reason or bleeding from a minor injury that lasts a long time or that stops for a while but starts up again.

 

The doctor will also examine your child to look for any other signs of bleeding problems and other health issues that can affect bleeding.

 

Blood tests will give your child's doctor these important details:

 

  • How much von Willebrand factor your child has, whether it's normal and how well it works
  • How much Factor VIII your child has
  • How many platelets your child has

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)