Drawing more attention to bleeding disorders in women

Clinicians need to be more aware of the presenceof specific bleeding disorders and develop strategies for correctly diagnosing the 2.5 million American women with abnormal bleeding who are at risk for unnecessary hysterectomies.

That's the message being spread by leading hematologists and ob/gyns who recently met in Seattle for the first-ever conference on women's bleeding disorders. Sponsored by the National Hemophilia Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and ZLB-Behring, the purpose of the conference was to counter the lack of information and awareness about women's bleeding disorders. The conference, titled "Project Red Flag: Real Talk About Women's Bleeding Disorders," is part of an ongoing effort to identify where the greatest gaps in knowledge exist. A recent survey found, for example, that despite the fact that about one third of women report having "heavy" periods—the number one symptom of von Willebrand disease—most women (91%) have never heard of VWD.

National Hemophilia Foundation. Real talk about women's bleeding disorders: Getting women and their doctors to listen. www.hemophilia.org/News/prfnews/prf_05_13-04.htm .

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