Their detailed bleeding questionnaire helps discriminate between patients - often in the same family - affected by a puzzling and rare condition known as Quebec Platelet Disorder (QPD) and those who are not.
The new tool for detecting different symptoms and complications was developed in the laboratory of hematologist Dr. Catherine Hayward, an associate professor in the departments of pathology and molecular medicine and medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences. The Transfusion Medicine Research Team at McMaster, headed by Nancy Heddle, helped develop the tool. Before Hayward began her research, Quebec families with this bleeding disorder didn't know what was causing their illness--or even what they suffered from.
Bleeding disorders tend to run in families and can be particularly difficult to detect. Normally, when a person bleeds, blood clots stop the bleeding. The clotting process (coagulation) requires both blood cells (platelets) and proteins (clotting factors). In bleeding disorders, blood platelets are not working as they should or there are too few platelets, or clotting factors, which cause bleeding to continue for longer than normal.
Gold standard tests are available to determine risks in diseases such as heart attacks and strokes but there has never been gold standards for rare bleeding disorders, such as QPD. Although this specific disorder appears to affect a few families in Quebec, this tool is a step forward to developing a better way to assess bleeding problems in many other conditions.
The McMaster researchers developed a detailed bleeding history questionnaire based on interviews with physicians and focus groups of patients who suffered a
Contact: Veronica McGuire