Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

(DIC; Consumption Coagulopathy; Defibrination Syndrome)


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a problem with how your blood clots. DIC causes blood clots to form in small blood vessels. These clots can slow or block the flow of blood through these vessels. The organs and tissue that rely on this blood flow can then be damaged.Blood clots are made of platelets and clotting factors. The blood clots caused by DIC decrease the body's platelets and clotting factor. This could lead to bleeding in other areas of the body.DIC may be acute or chronic. Acute DIC develops over a few hours or days. I can quickly lead to bleeding problems. Chronic DIC can develop over months. It is most often caused by cancer. Chronic DIC develops blood clots but rarely leads to bleeding problems. DIC is a life-threatening condition that must be treated right away.
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


DIC is caused by other medical conditions or injuries. The trauma or inflammation caused by these conditions stimulates changes in the blood clotting process.DIC can also be caused by toxin from poisonous snakes, but this cause is rare.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of DIC include:
  • Sepsis —a body-wide infection
  • Complications of pregnancy and delivery such as :
    • Eclampsia
    • Amniotic fluid clots
    • Retained placenta
  • Recent trauma such as:
  • Recent surgery
  • Cancer including leukemia
  • Severe liver disease or pancreatitis

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