Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition that prevents your body from controlling blood clotting and bleeding. Initially, blood clots form in many areas of your body. Your body responds by overproducing an agent to break down the blood clots. This leads to excessive bleeding, which can be life-threatening.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

You may need any of the following:
  • Antibiotics are given to help treat infection caused by bacteria.

  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots from forming. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. If you are taking a blood thinner:

    • Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose or in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin and a soft toothbrush on your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports, such as football.

    • Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners. Tell your dentist and other caregivers that you take blood-thinning medicine. Wear or carry medical alert information that says you are taking this medicine.

    • Tell your primary healthcare provider (PHP) right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much. You will need to have regular INR blood tests while on this medicine. Your PHP uses the INR results to decide how much medicine is right for you.

    • Talk to your PHP about the foods you eat. This medicine works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found mainly in leafy green vegetables. Ask your PHP or dietitian for a list of foods that are high in vitamin K.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your PHP or hematologist as directed:

Bring a list of any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your PHP or hematologist if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

  • You cough up blood.

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may also look swollen and red.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Discharge Care)

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