Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a lifelong bleeding disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood-clotting protein called von Willebrand factor. Von Willebrand factor is a protein that works in the initial stages of blood clotting. This glue-like protein interacts with blood cells called platelets to form a plug, which prevents the blood from flowing at the site of injury. People with vWD are unable to make this plug because they do not have enough von Willebrand factor or their factor is abnormal.
Research shows that bleeding disorders in women and girls often are undiagnosed. With proper treatment, young women with bleeding disorders can lead full, active lives and more safely undergo surgery, dental work, and childbirth.
The Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders provides a complete range of care for children and adolescents with bleeding and thrombotic (clotting) disorders. Children's Minnesota belongs to a nationwide network of federally funded Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) and is the only such program in the region focused solely on pediatrics. This designation ensures that children and adolescents receive comprehensive care from a team of pediatric experts in bleeding and clotting disorders.