NHF Praises Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney for Calling Attention to Bleeding
Disorders in Women
April 26, 2002
More Than One Million Undiagnosed American Women
May Be at Risk for Serious Complications
The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) today
praised Congresswomen Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
for responding to our call to help raise awareness
nationwide about undiagnosed bleeding disorders
in women by introducing House Concurrent Resolution
380. Many women and their health care providers
have little awareness of genetic bleeding disorders,
which occur in as many as 1 or 2 people in 100.
Undiagnosed and untreated, bleeding disorders
can lead to serious health risks following surgery,
injury, and childbirth.
H. Con. Res. 380 calls for appropriate screening
for women and girls with excessive menstrual bleeding,
a common bleeding disorder symptom, as well as
for a proper evaluation prior to performing a
hysterectomy to rule out the possibility of a
treatable bleeding disorder. This legislation
calls for women with bleeding disorders to be
referred to federally sponsored hemophilia treatment
centers for comprehensive treatment. In addition,
it calls for the continuation of public education
and outreach efforts such as the "Project Red
Flag" campaign conducted by NHF and the Centers
for Disease Control.
"Too many women suffer from bleeding disorders
and I have at least one friend who has suffered
from such a disorder, " said Congresswoman McKinney.
"Anything I can do to bring attention to this
unnoticed illness will help the many women in
this country who are afflicted with bleeding disorders,"
"We are delighted that Congresswoman McKinney
is helping to bring attention to this national
problem," said Dr. Paula Elbirt, Chair of NHF's
Women with Bleeding Disorders Task Force. "With
such strong congressional support, we hope that
more and more women will be diagnosed and treated,
resulting in improved health and better quality
The most common bleeding disorder is von Willebrand
disease (VWD), a genetic condition found in 1%
to 2% of the population. Symptoms of VWD include
easy bruising, frequent nosebleeds, prolonged
bleeding from dental work and surgery, and, in
women, post-partum hemorrhaging and heavy monthly
periods. Genetically transmitted from generation
to generation, it is frequently undetected since
women with VWD often have other family members
with the same symptoms and may view them as normal.
Although there is currently no cure for VWD, it
can be treated effectively with medication and
NHF's Project Red Flag: Real Talk About Women's
Bleeding Disorders is a national public awareness
program designed to reach the millions of women
with undiagnosed bleeding disorders. For more
information about women's bleeding disorders or
Project Red Flag, please call (800) 42-HANDI or
log on to www.projectredflag.org.
Project Red Flag receives support from.