Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation in the Neonate

Neonatal Netw. 2018 Jul;37(4):205-211. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.37.4.205. Epub 2018 Jul 1.


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a serious secondary disease that alters the events in the clotting cascade. DIC leads to microclots in the peripheral vasculature. The uncontrolled formation of these clots consumes the body's clotting factors, which precipitates bleeding. Neonates, defined as newborns zero to one month old, are born with slightly altered hemostasis, also known as developmental coagulopathy. This coagulopathy puts neonates at a greater risk of developing DIC, specifically when additional body systems have been compromised by a primary disease. Because of the serious nature of this disease and its precipitating factors, advanced practitioners should study the nuances of DIC to provide accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. The aim of this article is to discuss the pathophysiology behind DIC along with etiologies, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in neonates, along with gaps in current research.

Keywords: DIC; NICU; disseminated intravascular coagulation; hematology; neonate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology*
  • Curriculum
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / diagnosis*
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / nursing*
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / physiopathology
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing
  • Female
  • Hemostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neonatal Nursing / education*
  • Neonatal Nursing / standards
  • Nurses, Neonatal / education*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Thrombosis / physiopathology*