What is DIC?
DIC is an acronym for disseminated intravascular coagulation a very seriuos condition in which excess thrombin is in the systemic circulation. DIC is always a secondary disorder, it occurs after some initial assault to the cardiovascular system. This thrombin excess causes widespread clotting in the cardiovascular system, the body reacts to the excess thrombin by trying to lyse the clots by fibrinolysis. This in turn, causes systemic bleeding and the person may literally bled to death because their body is trying to break up the clots.
Any population of people can be affected by DIC but it is most common after childbirth when tissue fragments from the placenta are retained thus initiating the clotting process. It is also common in situations were the person is acidotic and the acidosis was not corrected early enough.
DIC stands for disseminated intravascular coagulation. There are certain proteins that are present which control blood clotting. When a person has disseminated intravascular coagulation it means that these proteins do not function as they should.
When a person has an injury, the body instinctively activates proteins that causes the clotting mechanism to begin. A person with DIC has proteins that become abnormally active. When this happens, many small clots can form in the blood vessels causing the blood supply to be "cut off" from major organs such as the liver and brain. Because the proteins are being overused, they eventually are used up and the body is no longer able to form clots which can cause severe bleeding.