DIC Syndrome Calculator

Created by Aleksandra Zając, MD
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Steven Wooding
Based on research by
Levi M, Toh CH, Thachil J, Watson HG Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of disseminated intravascular coagulation. British Committee for Standards in Haematology British Journal of Hematology (2009 Feb 12)
Last updated: Aug 19, 2022

DIC syndrome calculator will let you have a close look at the disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. Using the calculator, you'll determine the risk of DIC clotting disorder. Read on to find out:

  • What DIC means in medical terms;
  • How to prevent DIC;
  • How to treat DIC (e.g., when to use heparin and plasma replacement); and
  • How to tell HELLP syndrome and DIC.

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace a professional doctor's assessment.

What is DIC?

DIC syndrome means disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. It is also called consumption coagulopathy. DIC is a syndrome of paradox – patients have both too much and too little clotting simultaneously.

The first step is an activation of systemic coagulation. Clotting is out of control and quickly uses up the coagulation factors and platelets. That causes bleeding in other parts of the body.

The DIC clotting disorder is not a disease itself; rather, it's a syndrome with an underlying cause. The most common causes of DIC are:

  • Sepsis, severe infections;
  • Traumas;
  • Organ injuries;
  • Obstetric complications; and
  • Cancers.

Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy signs and symptoms

If you know the medical meaning of DIC, you can figure out the signs and symptoms of that condition. Symptoms are caused by organ ischemia and uncontrolled bleeding.

Symptoms of an acute DIC include:

  • Severe bleeding (wounds, nose, birth canal);
  • Ischemic organ failure (liver failure, kidney failure);
  • Symptoms of stroke (either ischemic or hemorrhagic);
  • Shock; and
  • Laboratory tests (used in our DIC syndrome calculator) reveal low platelet count, elevated fibrin degradation products level, and signs of poor clotting like prolonged prothrombin time.

DIC can rarely take a chronic form. It happens mostly with persistent health factors, such as malignant cancers. In the chronic form, DIC looks like a bleeding disorder, with a tendency for bleeding gums and nose, easy bruising, and petechiae (small red spots on your skin and mucosas).

Using DIC syndrome calculator

To use our DIC syndrome calculator, you need to have the patient's lab results. We need:

  • Platelets (PLT);
  • Fibrin markers;
  • Prothrombin time (PT); and
  • Fibrinogen.

Now choose the appropriate option for each parameter from the calculator panel. You can see live how they affect the result. Under the result row, you've got the interpretation with the probability of DIC clotting disorder of your patient.

HELLP syndrome and DIC

HELLP syndrome is an acronym for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets. It is one of the pregnancy complications considered a variant of preeclampsia. The table shows a short comparison of HELLP syndrome and DIC.

HELLP

DIC

Previous history

Pregnancy

Trauma, infection, malignancy

Signs and symptoms

Nausea, abdominal pain, hypertension

Bleeding and/or ischaemic symptoms

Laboratory results

⬇️ Platelets, ⬆️ liver enzymes, ⬆️ bilirubin, ⬆️ LDH

⬇️ Platelets, ⬆️ fibrin degradation products, ⬆️ prothrombin time

Treatment

Delivery of the fetus, platelet infusion, close monitoring

Close monitoring, blood and/or clotting agents replacement, treating the underlying cause

FAQ

How do I prevent DIC?

Unfortunately, there's not much to do to prevent DIC. The thing worth mentioning is that if you're chronically ill, make sure your disease is well-controlled. Ask your physician for specific instructions.

How to treat DIC?

Treating DIC – disseminated intravascular coagulation – includes:

  1. Treating the underlying cause (sepsis, organ failure, trauma).

  2. Blood, platelets, or plasma transfusion.

  3. Heparin administration – in case of thrombosis is the major problem; note this treatment is controversial.

  4. Tranexamic acid administration – when bleeding is the major problem.

What causes DIC?

The list of DIC consumption coagulopathy causes includes:

  • Injury and trauma (esp. extensive traumas);
  • Infections and sepsis;
  • Organ injury (e.g., inflammation, failure);
  • Obstetric complications;
  • Malignant cancers; and
  • Acute reaction after transfusion.

Can you survive DIC?

The short answer is yes, you can survive DIC. However, DIC might leave some patients with life-longing complications, such as organ insufficiency or amputation.

Remember that acute DIC – disseminated intravascular coagulopathy – is an emergency state, and one should seek medical care as fast as possible.

Aleksandra Zając, MD
Platelet count
>100,000/μL
Fibrin markers increase
No change
Prothrombin time
≤ 3 seconds
Fibrinogen level
≥ 1 g/L
Result
0
The DIC diagnosis is not probable. However if the symptoms persist, assess the patient with a scale again every 24 hours.
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