What Can I Do To Prevent D.I.C.?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I developed D.I.C. (disseminated intravascular coagulation) after the birth of my son. From all that I have read, (which, by the way, is hard to find). I guess I'm lucky to be here. I was in the O.R. for over 5 hours. What I want to know, (if you can help me ) is, can I get this again. Trust me I do NOT plan on having anymore children, my doctor told me the next one would kill me. Can this just develop again? If so, what do I have to look out for.

My doctor did tell me If I'm ever in an accident, or have some kind of trauma, this can happen to me again. Also should I be wearing a Med-Alert necklace. Thank you for any help you can give me.

ANSWER

A medalert bracelet is not a bad idea. You can help yourself by maintaining a really healthy diet and normal weight, but beyond that there is not a lot you can do ( unless your caregiver has said something specific to your case). DIC is not common in women who are not pregnant; it is mainly a complication of pregnancy, so if that is not an option, it is unlikely that you will have it again.

I agree that you are VERY lucky to be here -- you must have a fantastic caregiver and must be best friends with Lady Luck. Meanwhile, have fun raising your child!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.