Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

Consumption coagulopathy; DIC

Disseminated intravascular coagulation is a serious disorder in which the proteins that control blood clotting become overactive.

Blood clot formation

Blood clotting normally occurs when there is damage to a blood vessel. Platelets immediately begin to adhere to the cut edges of the vessel and release chemicals to attract even more platelets. A platelet plug is formed, and the external bleeding stops. Next, small molecules, called clotting factors, cause strands of blood-borne materials, called fibrin, to stick together and seal the inside of the wound. Eventually, the cut blood vessel heals and the blood clot dissolves after a few days.

Meningococcemia on the calves

Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, invades the blood stream. Bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura) may occur. The tissue in areas may die (become necrotic or gangrenous). If the person survives, the areas heal with scarring.

Blood clots

Blood clots (fibrin clots) are the clumps that result when blood coagulates.



Exams and Tests


Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional