One of the factors in our blood that helps form blood clots is von Willebrand factor. It acts as glue, sticking platelets to the wall of a broken blood vessel. People with vWD have limited or no von Willebrand factor. vWD is the most common bleeding disorder in the world, and is thought to affect approximately 1 in every 100 people.
Although similar to haemophilia, people with vWD usually suffer more from prolonged external bleeding, rather than internal bleeds. The disorder is passed on through an abnormal gene that can be inherited from the mother or father (or both, in some cases).
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