It's been my experience that if a post-cabg pt developes DIC (from bypass machine or otheriwse) it usually developes during or immediately post-op (although i've not personally taken care of more than a handful).
"Pt was sitting up and talking" would lead me to assume the pt was several hours post-extubation.
I'm thinking that If it were Plavix induced, the bleeding/oozing would've been seen much earlier.
DIC is as good an answer as any(and probably right)...although re-opening a pt experiencing DIC would be VERY dangerous...?
And as far as Plavix is concerened, the latest literature indicates Plavix should be held as much as a week prior to surgery (in non-emergent cases ). Our surgeons are becoming increasingly anal about this...
There's a running joke on my unit about how Plavix is a cardiologist's dream-drug...and a CV surgeon's nightmare..