Paula James, MD FRCPC
Professor, Department of Medicine, Queen’s University
Medical Director, Women & Bleeding Disorder Clinic, Kingston General Hospital
Von Willebrand disease is an inherited bleeding disorder affecting an estimated one in a thousand Canadians. Symptoms include: abnormal or continued bleeding or bruising – specifically after dental work or surgery – and for women, abnormal or heavy periods. Though recognizing symptoms and obtaining an affirmative diagnosis remains a significant obstacle, effective therapies are available to treat this disease. Spreading awareness is key, and patients should always be open, observe the messages their bodies are giving them, and speak to their doctors regularly about the presence of any symptoms.