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Hemophilia and Inherited Bleeding Disorders

Platelet Function/Von Willebrand`s/ITP?

07/13/2009

Question:

My three year old son has had problems with severe nosebleeds, and seemingly spontaneous severe bruising with no known trauma or injury. These problems have been going on for well over a year, with little or no success of a viable diagnosis. I also recently found out that my biological father had Hemachromotosis. I am worried that something is seriously wrong with my son, as blood disorders and leukemia run in my family. Someone PLEASE help me out with this. What are the most likely causes, and where is the BEST specialist to see for this problem? Thanks so much!

Answer:

I would encourage you not to give up.  Diagnosing a platelet function disorder or mild von Willebrand's in a young child can be very challenging.  Many factors will affect test results.  For example, stress can cause clotting factors to increase.  So if a child has levels that are only mildly decreased it is very difficult to diagnose because the stress of drawing the blood can cause the clotting factors to rise temporarily and thus it is difficult to get accurate results.

There is a "Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center" at Akron Children's Hospital and a "Hemophilia Treatment Center" at Toledo Children's Hospital.  These centers have physicians and nurses on staff who have extensive experience in evaluating symptoms such as those you describe.  I would suggest that you contact someone at one of these treatment centers for advise regarding your concerns.

For more information:

Go to the Hemophilia and Inherited Bleeding Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Madeline Heffner, BSN, RN
Nurse Coord.
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati