Tuesday Advanced Cases

DIC with Dr. Alyssa Sinko

Case: 64 M with no PMH presenting with continuous oozing from mass in posterior pharynx. Vital signs significant for: T 98.5, HR 72, BP 130/84, RR 16, SPO2 98%. Patient also found to have petechia on lower extremities. IV access established, and it is noted that there is bleeding from the IV sites.

Pathophysiology of DIC:

Causes of DIC:
– Most common: Sepsis
– Carcinomas, leukemias, TBI, pancreatitis, snake bites, ARDS, transfusion reactions, transplant rejection, crush injuries, burns, fat embolism, liver disease
– Pregnancy associated: Placental Abruption, Amniotic Fluid Embolism, Septic Abortion, HELLP syndrome, Acute fatty liver of pregnancy

Laboratory Testing:

PT used for monitoring over course

Bleeding Differential Diagnosis:

– Treat to treat underlying trigger
– If purpura fulminans present, treat with protein C concentrate
– Consider heparin if thrombosis is primary symptom
– Repletion to be considered if significant bleeding or impending procedure

  • Fibrinogen < 100 = Cryoprecipitate
  • Platelets <50K with bleeding, <10K without bleeding = Platelets
  • PT/PTT over 1.5x normal limit = FFP
  • Vitamin K and Folate


Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine Manual, 8e Eds. Rita K. Cydulka, et al. McGraw Hill, 2018


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