Diagnosing Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

Beth McCraw, ARNP, ACNS-BC, OCN; Debra E. Lyon, RN, PhD, FNP


Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2008;12(5):717-720. 

In This Article


Early recognition of DIC in patients with APL is essential to improving morbidity and mortality from this life-threatening condition. Although patients with APL have a better prognosis than other patients with AML, the increased risk of DIC leads to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality in this subset of patients with AML. Signs and symptoms of DIC are highly complex and variable; therefore, oncology nurses need to assess for signs and symptoms of DIC as a regular aspect of the care of patients with APL. In addition, teaching patients with APL about the risk of DIC and working with patients and families to be aware of signs and symptoms of APL is an important component of patient education. For acute care oncology nurses, understanding the relationship between assessment findings and laboratory data is important for providing optimal inpatient treatment outcomes for patients with APL.


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