Author(s): DeSancho MT, Rand JH
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Abstract Alterations in hemostasis are common in patients with cancer admitted to the ICU. Depending on the underlying disease and specific hemostatic abnormality, the patient with cancer may develop bleeding, thrombosis, or both, such as DIC. Bleeding complications usually result from abnormalities in platelets or deficiency of coagulation factors and require specific blood or coagulation factor replacement. Similarly, critically ill patients with cancer are predisposed to thrombotic complications such as DVT, PE, and central vein thrombosis, the last as a result of the widespread use of long-term indwelling catheter devices. Advances in diagnostic imaging and the availability of newer and more potent anticoagulant agents have facilitated the care of these patients greatly. Ultimately, it is hoped that a thorough understanding of the various disturbances in hemostasis, innovative treatment approaches, and implementation of preventive strategies in patients with cancer will lead to decreased morbidity and improved survival rates of critically ill patients with cancer in the ICU.
This article was published in Crit Care Clin
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access