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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a life-threatening condition that prevents a person's blood from clotting normally. It may cause excessive bleeding (hemorrhage) throughout the body, decreased urination, breathing problems, decreased mental awareness, tissue death (necrosis), and shock.

Common causes of DIC are severe trauma injuries, infectious diseases, or types of cancers that upset the normal balance of blood clotting factors.

Treatment for DIC depends on the medical condition causing it. Most people with DIC require hospitalization, often in an intensive care unit (ICU), where treatment will attempt to correct the problem causing the DIC while maintaining the function of the body's organs. Treatment may include blood transfusions and medicines to correct both the problem that caused the DIC and the DIC itself.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerBrian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
Last RevisedDecember 17, 2010

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