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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fundamentals of Hemostasis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Coagulation Disorders - Inherited

Von Willebrands Disease is a platelet disorder characterized by a functional defect in Von Willebrands factor (vWF) itself. This disease often clinically manifests with a concurrent deficiency of factor VIII, but will present with a normal platelet count. As far as genetics and inheritance, both men and women are affected equally.

Von Willebrands factor is essential for platelet binding, therefore, a defect in vWF causes impaired platelet adhesion and aggregation.
The treatment for persons with Von Willebrands Disease who are bleeding involves the administration the modified antidiuretic hormone, deamino-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP). DDAVP can temporarily raise levels of vWF and factor VIII. Cryoprecipitate formerly was the method of treatment but has since been replaced with DDAVP.