Hematoma

What are the types of hematomas? (Part 2)

Intracerebral hematomas occur within the brain tissue itself. Intracerebral (intra= within + cerebrum=brain) hematomas may be due to bleeding from uncontrolled high blood pressure, an aneurysm leak or rupture, trauma, tumor, or stroke.

Picture of a cross section of the brain illustrating the internal brain structure.
Picture of a cross section of the brain illustrating the internal brain structure.

Scalp hematomas occur on the outside of the skull and often can be felt as a bump on the head. Because the injury is to the skin and muscle layers outside of the skull, the hematoma itself cannot press on the brain. However, a scalp hematoma signals that there has been a head injury and it is important to assure that internal bleeding has not occurred within the skull. Guidelines like the Ottawa CT Head Rule and the New Orleans Criteria can help the health care professional decide whether imaging is necessary to look for bleeding in the brain.

Aural or ear hematomas may occur if an injury causes bleeding to the outside helix or cartilage structure of the ear. Often called boxer's ear, wrestler's ear, or cauliflower ear, blood gets trapped between the thin layer of skin and the cartilage itself. Since the ear cartilage gets its blood supply directly from the overlying skin, a hematoma can decrease blood flow causing parts of the cartilage to shrivel and die. This scenario results in a bumpy, deformed outer ear.

Septal hematomas occur with nasal trauma. A septal hematoma may form associated with a broken nose. If not recognized and treated, the cartilage can break down and cause a perforation of the septum.

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Reviewed on 11/19/2013