Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
In this Article
- What is a hematoma?
- What causes a hematoma?
- What are the types of hematomas?
- What are the symptoms of a hematoma?
- When should I call the doctor about a hematoma?
- How is a hematoma diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a hematoma?
- What are the complications of a hematoma?
- Can hematomas be prevented?
- Hematoma At A Glance
What are the complications of a hematoma?
Hematomas cause swelling and inflammation. It is often these two consequences that cause irritation of adjacent organs and tissues and cause the symptoms and complications of a hematoma.
One common complication of all hematomas is the risk of infection. While the hematoma is made of old blood, it has no blood supply itself and therefore is at risk for colonization with bacteria.
Can hematomas be prevented?
Accidents happen and most hematomas are inevitable once the trauma has occurred.
For patients taking anti-coagulation medications, it is wise to avoid participating in events with high risk of injury. For patients taking warfarin (Coumadin), it is important to make certain that the dosing is appropriate and the blood is not thinned excessively.
Hematoma At A Glance
- A hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.
- Symptoms of hematomas depend upon their location and whether adjacent
structures are affected by the inflammation and swelling associated with the
- Treatment of a hematoma depends upon which organ or body tissue is
- Superficial hematomas of the skin and soft tissue, such as muscle, may be treated with rest, ice compression, and elevation. Heat may also be considered.
Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice, 6th Edition, 2006.
Emergency Medicine: a Comprehensive Study Guide 6th Edition, 2003.
Andreoli, Thomas E., et al. Andreoli's and Carpenter's Cecil Essentials of Medicine. Saunders; 7 edition, 2007.
eMedicine.com. "Epidural Hematoma."
eMedicine.com. "Subdural Hematoma."
Last Editorial Review: 8/13/2009
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.