Pulmonary and myocardial damage are frequently cited as manifestations of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), but rarely as causes. Three elderly cases of severe DIC due to pulmonary and myocardial infarction are reported. All three patients died. Necropsy showed extensive pulmonary emboli in each case with large pulmonary infarcts in cases 1 and 2 and a ventricular aneurysm containing thrombus in cases 2 and 3. Early diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary embolism requires a high degree of clinical suspicion but may prevent progression to the irreversible stage of severe DIC.
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