DEFINITION--A serious disruption of blood-clotting mechanisms, resulting in
hemorrhaging or internal bleeding. This disorder is a complication of an underlying
BODY PARTS INVOLVED--Blood vessels and blood in all parts of the body.
SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED--Both sexes; all ages.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
> Bleeding and hemorrhage from any or several body parts. Bleeding may be heavy.
Common signs of bleeding include:
Depletion of blood-clotting components, causing widespread bleeding. This condition can
be the result of:
- Pregnancy abnormalities, such as placenta previa, abruptio placenta or toxemia.
- Widespread or major infection.
- Widespread cancer.
- Some kinds of surgery.
- Widespread tissue destruction, as with extensive burns.
- Poisonous snakebite.
- Transfusion of mismatched blood.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Poor nutrition.
- Illness that has lowered resistance.
HOW TO PREVENT--Obtain prompt medical treatment for the underlying causes.
What To Expect
- Your own observation of symptoms.
- Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE
- Doctor's treatment.
- Surgery to correct the underlying disorder (sometimes).
- Self-care after treatment.
- Kidney failure.
- Brain damage, with seizures or coma.
- Shock; death.
PROBABLE OUTCOME--If the underlying cause of DIC is treated promptly, full
recovery is likely.
How To Treat
- Patients with this condition are often desperately ill and require intensive hospital
care. Family members can help by maintaining a positive, hopeful attitude.
- During recovery, don't scrub or take scabs off sores. This may trigger new bleeding.
MEDICATION--Your doctor may prescribe:
- Blood transfusions or blood-component infusions.
- Heparin (an anticoagulant administered by injection).
ACTIVITY--Rest in bed until your doctor approves a return to normal activity.
DIET--Whatever type of diet is tolerated depending on patient's condition.
Call Your Doctor If
- You have symptoms of DIC. This is an emergency!
- Any bleeding recurs or the abdomen swells rapidly during treatment.