Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bleeding Disorders Going Undiagnosed; New Guidelines To Help

Date:
June 8, 2009
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Nearly one percent of the population suffers from bleeding disorders, yet many women don't know they have one because doctors aren't looking for the condition, according to researchers.

Nearly one percent of the population suffers from bleeding disorders, yet many women don't know they have one because doctors aren't looking for the condition, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

That's about to change, now that an international expert consortium specifically outlined the definitive signs that may signal the presence of a bleeding disorder in women. The consortium's recommendations are published online and will appear in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The new guidelines aren't just for doctors. Women who suffer from heavy menstrual cycles should be on the lookout for these signs as well, says Andra James, MD, a Duke obstetrician, who says about 25 percent of women with heavy menstruation may have an undiagnosed bleeding disorder.

"Heavy bleeding should not be ignored," says James, the paper's lead author. "When a woman's blood can't clot normally the most obvious sign is a heavy period."

Yet when faced with these scenarios, most doctors aren't suspecting a blood clotting problem is to blame. "Sometimes they think hormones are the cause, or fibroids," says James. "In some cases they recommend removal of the uterus or offer another gynecologic explanation when the real contributing factor is a blood clotting disorder."

In previous studies, women who ultimately were treated for a bleeding disorder reported waiting 16 years, on average, before being diagnosed. In extreme cases, James says undiagnosed bleeding disorders have led to women bleeding to death during menstruation, childbirth and surgical procedures.

The most common inherited bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease, says James, author of 100 Questions and Answers About von Willebrand Disease (Jones and Bartlett). Common criteria for diagnosis include the presence of a family history of bleeding, personal history of bleeding and laboratory tests that indicate the lack of a protein called von Willebrand factor which is essential for clotting.

Without the laboratory test, the consortium says women and doctors should be on the lookout for the following:

  • Heavy blood loss during menstruation
  • Family history of bleeding disorder
  • Notable bruising without injury
  • Minor wound bleeding that lasts more than five minutes
  • Prolonged or excessive bleeding following dental extraction
  • Unexpected surgical bleeding
  • Hemorrhaging that requires blood transfusion
  • Postpartum hemorrhaging, especially if occurs more than 24 hours after delivery.

"Too often women think heavy bleeding is okay because the women in their family -- who may also have an undiagnosed bleeding disorder -- have heavy periods as well," says James. "We want women who continually experience abnormal reproductive tract bleeding, specifically heavy menstrual bleeding, to be alert to these other signs and approach their physicians about being evaluated."

In addition, she says doctors should be asking the right questions and ordering appropriate laboratory tests in suspected patients.

"Not every patient who has abnormal reproductive tract bleeding has a bleeding disorder, and most don't," James says. "But since up to one-quarter do, this needs to be recognized. Once treated, these women can expect to have normal periods and go through childbirth safely."

The consortium's meeting received financial support from CSL Behring.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James et al. Von Willebrand disease and other bleeding disorders in women: Consensus on diagnosis and management from an international expert panel. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.04.024

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Bleeding Disorders Going Undiagnosed; New Guidelines To Help." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602082845.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2009, June 8). Bleeding Disorders Going Undiagnosed; New Guidelines To Help. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602082845.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Bleeding Disorders Going Undiagnosed; New Guidelines To Help." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602082845.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins