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All You Need to Know about Hematoma

All You Need to Know about Hematoma

2024-06-12 00:00:00

Hematoma is a very common medical condition experienced by many people. It is an area of blood that collects outside blood vessels as a result of damage to one of the larger blood vessels in the body. It can occur in any of the blood vessels, including the veins, arteries and capillaries. Hematoma is usually harmless, although some can indicate a more serious medical problem. Hematomas can be spotted commonly under the skin or nails as bluish or purplish bruises of different sizes. These skin bruises are also known as contusions. They can also occur deep inside the body where they may not be visible through the naked eye.

Types of Hematoma

There are different types of hematoma depending on their place of occurrence in the body. The affected area may also help determine how potentially dangerous it is. They include-

Ear hematoma-

Ear hematoma appears between the cartilage of the ear and the overlying skin. It is a common injury in boxers, wrestlers and other athletes who regularly sustain blows to the head.

Hepatic hematoma-

Hepatic hematoma appears in the liver.

Intracranial epidural hematoma-

It appears between the skull and the outside lining of the brain.

Retroperitoneal hematoma-

This type of hematoma appears inside the abdominal cavity but not within any organs.

Scalp hematoma-

Scalp hematoma appears as a bump on the head. This type does not affect the brain, because the damage is to the external skin and muscle.

Spinal hematoma-

Spinal hematoma appears between the spinal vertebrae and the lining of the spinal cord.

Splenic hematoma-

Splenic hematoma appears in the spleen.

Subcutaneous hematoma-

It appears just right under the skin, typically in the shallow veins close to the surface of the skin.

Subdural hematoma-

This appears between the brain tissue and the internal lining of the brain.

Subungual hematoma-

It appears under the nail (fingernail or toenail). It is common in minor injuries such as accidentally hitting the finger with a hard object.

Causes of Hematoma

The most common causes of hematoma are injuries and trauma to the wall of the blood vessels. People can get hematoma from a minimal injury such as stubbing a toe or slightly stroking the nail against an object. More significant traumas such as-

  • Falling from a height.
  • Getting into a motor vehicle accident can cause severe bleeding under the skin or even inside the body.

Some surgical procedures including cosmetics, dental or medical operations may lead to hematoma. These procedures damage nearby tissues and blood vessels, hematoma may often form around the site of the procedure. In some cases, a hematoma may happen spontaneously without any identifiable cause. Certain blood thinners can increase the risk of hematoma. Individuals who take medications such as aspirin, warfarin or dipyridamole may develop a hematoma much easier than others.

Risk factors for Hematoma

Risk factors for hematoma include-

  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Blood cancer.
  • Bleeding disorders.
  • Chronic liver disease.
  • Low platelet count.

Symptoms of Hematoma

Mild symptoms may include-

  • Redness.
  • Discoloration.
  • Pain.
  • Inflammation and swelling.
  • Tenderness in the area.
  • Warmth in the skin surrounding hematoma.

Hematoma in the skull may be dangerous. Associated symptoms may include-

  • Severe headache.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Uneven pupils.
  • Difficulty moving an arm.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Loss of consciousness.

How to Diagnose Hematoma?

To make a diagnosis, the doctor will review your medical history and carry out a physical examination. Depending on the situation, tests such as liver test and complete blood count (CBC) may be useful in evaluating a person with hematoma and rule out underlying conditions that may be responsible. To diagnose hematoma inside the body, imaging studies like CT scan of the head and the abdomen and MRI may be ordered.

Treatment for Hematoma

In some cases, treatment may not be required. With time, the blood from the hematoma is reabsorbed by the body. Sometimes, resting the injured area and applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel may help in reducing pain and swelling. Wrap the affected area with a compression bandage to control swelling or pain. If the injury is very painful, over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers may be recommended. In some cases, surgical drainage of the hematoma may be required. This may be done if the blood is putting pressure on the spinal cord, brain or other organs, or if the hematoma is at risk of infection.

When to visit a doctor?

If the symptoms of hematoma are severe or continue to expand over several days, you should see a doctor immediately.


The informative content furnished in the blog section is not intended and should never be considered a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health concern. This blog does not guarantee that the remedies listed will treat the medical condition or act as an alternative to professional health care advice. We do not recommend using the remedies listed in these blogs as second opinions or specific treatments. If a person has any concerns related to their health, they should consult with their health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it based on the content of this blog.