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Hematoma definition and facts

  • A hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.
  • There are several types of hematomas and they are often described based on their location. Examples of hematomas include subdural, spinal, under the finger or toenail bed (subungual), ear, and liver (hepatic).
  • Some causes of hematomas are as pelvic bone fractures, fingernail injuries (subungual), bumps, passing blood clots, blood clot in the leg (DVT), blood cancers, and excessive alcohol use.
  • Symptoms of hematomas depend upon their location and whether adjacent structures are affected by the inflammation and swelling associated with the bleeding and may include
    • headache,
    • confusion,
    • seizures subdural hematoma),
    • back pain,
    • loss of bladder or bowel control (epidural hematoma),
    • discoloration,
    • nail loss,
    • pain in the nail bed, and
    • abdominal or flank pain (spleen, liver, or peritoneal hematoma).
  • Treatment of a hematoma depends upon which organ or body tissue is affected.
  • Superficial hematomas of the skin and soft tissue, such as muscle, may be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Heat may also be considered.
Reviewed on 9/28/2017

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