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Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

The disseminated intravascular coagulation is a disorder of blood clotting, which can emerge explosively and seriously jeopardize the life of a person.

It is a disorder that appears as a consequence of several diseases, although the most frequent are obstetric catastrophes, tumors, major trauma and bacterial sepsis .

All these causes act by activating the different coagulation pathways in one way or another, which gives rise to a series of alterations and clinical manifestations that will be described later.

Causes of disseminated intravascular coagulation

As noted above, there are many diseases that can lead to DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).

Obstetric catastrophes include premature detachment of the placenta, abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy or the existence of a stillborn fetus.

Regarding major traumas, burns, head injuries, frostbite or gunshot wounds stand out.

Regarding infections, they usually correspond to sepsis of bacterial origin, although it can also be caused by certain viruses ( chickenpox , rubella, smallpox) and parasites.

Other conditions that can lead to DIC include an aortic aneurysm or acute glomerulonephritis.

Each of the previously mentioned diseases stimulates blood coagulation in different ways, either by injury to the inner wall of the blood vessels, or by the release of certain chemical substances that initiate the so-called coagulation cascade.

Once this has occurred, the formation of multiple thrombi and emboli occurs that are deposited in microscopic vessels called capillaries. This is the so-called thrombotic phase of DIC, which is followed by a hemorrhagic phase, due to the large consumption of clotting factors and platelets present in the blood.

Symptoms and diagnosis of DIC

The clinical presentation varies depending on the intensity and stage of the syndrome. Most patients present with significant skin bleeding and bleeding from multiple sites in the body, usually surgical incisions or venipuncture.

Less frequently, there may be cyanosis or gangrene in the fingers, genitals or nose, all of them places where capillary circulation is interrupted by deposited thrombi.

To all this is added a patent general poor condition of the person, which can even be found in a coma.

The diagnosis is based on the symptoms previously described and on the alteration of the usual coagulation tests carried out in the laboratory.

Treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation

Treatment of DIC must be started quickly as it is life-threatening to the patient. It is usually done in a hospital intensive care unit.

It will be necessary to treat both the bleeding and the initial disorder that triggered this syndrome.

Treatment of bleeding will be carried out by transfusing fresh frozen plasma concentrates and platelet concentrates, except in cases where they are in the thrombotic phase, in which case the use of anticoagulant drugs (heparin) will be necessary.

The treatment of the initial cause will vary, logically, depending on it, and is described in each of the corresponding sections.

How can I avoid it?

The intake of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and proteins and poor in salted, smoked and especially in salt should be recommended to the population.

International recommendations for the nitrate content of drinking waters should be followed.

Control environmental exposure to asbestos, chromium, and vinyl chloride.

It is not known whether eradication of H. Pylori in young ages will lead to a decrease in this tumor.

It is debated whether previously gastrectomized patients with pernicious anemia or atrophic gastritis should undergo periodic check-ups, with endoscopy and biopsy, although it seems reasonable to assume that mortality from gastric cancer would be reduced.

A correct initial diagnosis of malignant gastric ulcers would determine a lower mortality from gastric cancer, therefore, fibrogastroscopy with biopsy taking is recommended in all gastric ulcers.

All people who present any of the previously described diseases should be transferred to a hospital urgently and without delay, given the great vital risk posed by this syndrome.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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