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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)

A condition in which blood clots form throughout the body's small blood vessels, reducing or blocking blood flow through blood vessels leading to organ damage. In DIC, increased clotting uses up available platelets and clotting factors, which can lead to serious bleeding risk. Risk factors for DIC in pregnancy and/or labour include:

  • Placental abruption
  • Intrauterine fetal death, including delayed miscarriage
  • Amniotic fluid embolism
  • Intrauterine infection, including septic abortion
  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
DIC can cause life-threatening bleeding. Management involves replacement of platelets and clotting factors via frozen plasma and platelet concentrations, with subsequent transfusion of red blood cells.

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