Hematoma (accumulation of blood)

Skin | General Practice | Hematoma (accumulation of blood) (Disease)


A hematoma represents a collection of extravasated blood trapped in the tissues of the skin or in an organ, resulting from trauma or incomplete hemostasis after surgery. The clot hardens and the mass becomes palpable to the examiner and is often painful to the pacient.

Hematomas cause irritation and inflammation. Symptoms depend upon their location and whether the size of the hematoma or the associated swelling and inflammation causes structures nearby to be affected. The common symptoms of inflammation include redness, pain, and swelling.

Causes and Risk factors

It forms when a blood vessel leaks blood into the surrounding tissue. A bruise is a mild type of hematoma. You can also have bleeding inside your skull, which, depending upon its precise location, may be referred to as a subdural, epidural or intraparenchymal hematoma.

The slow process of reabsorption of hematomas can allow the broken down blood cells and hemoglobin pigment to move in the connective tissue. For example, a patient who injures the base of his thumb might cause a hematoma, which will slowly move all through the finger within a week. Gravity is the main determinant of this process.

Blood that escapes from the blood stream is very irritating and may cause symptoms of inflammation including pain, swelling and redness. Symptoms of a hematoma depend upon their location, their size and whether they cause associated swelling or edema.

Hematomas are often described based upon their location such as: epidural hematomas , subdural hematomas, intracerebral hematomas, Scalp hematomas etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment includes: warm compresses, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, naproxen), pain medications such as acetaminophen and needle aspiration if resolution doesnt occur. ...

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