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Anyone had disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)?Blood Cancers & Disorders | Last Active: Sep 11, 2022 | Replies (38)
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Hello @cb772. I read your post and wanted to respond as I totally understand your battle. I have personal experience with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) from my father who had prostate cancer that moved to his bones. He didn’t experience any specific onset symptoms, as we found out after a fall caused a hematoma in his brain. The cancer in his bones affected his ability to produce the blood cells needed for clotting. Although the surgery was successful, it was dicey for a while as the surgeon could not guarantee the bleeding would stop. They gave him many transfusions of whole blood and plasma to help clot any bleeding and give him energy back. The cancer was the underlying cause for his DIC, which he underwent treatment for and helped the DIC.
You mentioned back surgery and other challenges you have been through. Can you tell me a little more? Did you receive any transfusions or medications for DIC? What does your provider say the underlining cause of the DIC is?
I was able to find the following information that may help you, when I read it- it all sounded very true to our experience:
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000573.htm#:~:text=The%20underlying%20cause%20is%20usually,liver%2C%20brain%2C%20or%20kidneys.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a serious disorder in which the proteins that control blood clotting become overactive.
When you are injured, proteins in the blood that form blood clots travel to the injury site to help stop bleeding. If these proteins become abnormally active throughout the body, you could develop DIC. The underlying cause is usually due to inflammation, infection, or cancer.
In some cases of DIC, small blood clots form in the blood vessels. Some of these clots can clog the vessels and cut off the normal blood supply to organs such as the liver, brain, or kidneys. Lack of blood flow can damage and cause major injury to the organs.
In other cases of DIC, the clotting proteins in your blood are consumed. When this happens, you may have a high risk of serious bleeding, even from a minor injury or without injury. You may also have bleeding that starts spontaneously (on its own). The disease can also cause your healthy red blood cells to fragment and break up when they travel through the small vessels that are filled with clots.
Risk factors for DIC include:
• Blood transfusion reaction
• Cancer, especially certain types of leukemia
• Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
• Infection in the blood, especially by bacteria or fungus
• Liver disease
• Pregnancy complications (such as placenta that is left behind after delivery)
• Recent surgery or anesthesia
• Severe tissue injury (as in burns and head injury)
• Large hemangioma (a blood vessel that is not formed properly)
Symptoms of DIC may include any of the following:
• Bleeding, from many sites in the body
• Blood clots
• Drop in blood pressure
• Shortness of breath
• Confusion, memory loss or change of behavior
Exams and Tests
You may have any of the following tests:
• Complete blood count with blood smear exam
• Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
• Prothrombin time (PT)
• Fibrinogen blood test
There is no specific treatment for DIC. The goal is to determine and treat the underlying cause of DIC.
Supportive treatments may include:
• Plasma transfusions to replace blood clotting factors if a large amount of bleeding is occurring.
• Blood thinner medicine (heparin) to prevent blood clotting if a large amount of clotting is occurring.
Outcome depends on what is causing the disorder. DIC can be life threatening.
• Complications from DIC may include:
• Lack of blood flow to the arms, legs, or vital organs
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you have bleeding that does not stop.
Get prompt treatment for conditions known to bring on this disorder.
I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts,
Replies to "Hello @cb772. I read your post and wanted to respond as I totally understand your battle...."
Kelly: thank you so much for your informative post. I will respond in a little while, but have a telemedicine appt in a few minutes. Carol