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General Information Blood is carried throughout the body within a network of blood vessels When our tissues are injured cut on skin are blood vessel is disrupted and we bleed through the holes in the blood vessel wall Normally we stop bleeding through two integrated processes or the formation of a platelet plug and the formation of a blood clot this is called hemostasis You may not know it but there is a protein in or blood called the von Willebrand factor vWF which causes the platelets to bind to the bleeding blood vessel wall These adherent platelets activate other platelets to clump at the hole on the blood vessel wall this stops the bleeding Now if you have an absent on the von Willebrand factor the ability to localize and concentrate the hemostatic process is at the specific location of the site of the injury is impaired See figure1 Von Willebrands disease is probably the most common hereditary bleeding disorder and may occur in up to one percent of the population sixty-two million people worldwide Patients with von Willebrand disease have either have stopped the production of von Willebrand factor or they produce a molecule that does not function normally which cause their platelets do not adhere properly when blood vessels are injured therefor it takes longer for a blood clot to form In some patients the factor VIII the anti-hemophilic factor that helps blood clot is also reduced and blood clotting is severally impaired In patients with hemophilia the primary problem is the decrease or absents the factor VIII while the von Willebrand factor is normal Erik von Willebrand who lived in Helsinki Finland founded Von Willebrands disease in 1924 Who described a new type of bleeding disorder in the inhabitants of the land Islands is the Gulf of Bothnia which is located between Sweden and Finland This disorder was found to affect both males and females and the symptoms were
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