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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

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Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of DIC depend upon the underlying condition, such as infection, trauma or malignancy, and on the severity and the extent of DIC. In addition to signs and symptoms of the underlying condition, those of DIC are associated with bleeding and/or inappropriate clotting.

Significant bleeding usually occurs from at least three different sites.

  • Blood in the stool or urine from internal bleeding
  • Headaches and other symptoms associated with bleeding in the brain
  • Bruising and the formation of small red dots on the skin (petechiae)
  • Bleeding at the site of wounds, surgical sites, intravenous (IV) needle or catheter sites
  • Mucosal bleeding – from the nose, gums, mouth, etc.

Blood Clotting
Symptoms depend on the location of blood clots and may include:

  • Symptoms associated with organ dysfunction caused by blood clots blocking blood flow and oxygen to organs such as the liver and kidney, leading to liver and kidney failure
  • Blackening of the skin caused by blockage from blood clots and poor blood flow to the skin
  • Chest pain, coughing up blood, and/or difficulty breathing caused by blood clots in the lungs
  • Chest pain and/or a heart attack caused by clotting in the heart
  • Headaches and other symptoms associated with a stroke, caused by clotting in the brain

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