Hematoma (Blood clot)

What is hematoma?

A hematoma or blood clot occurs due to the damage of the large blood vessels in the body. Most people experience it at some point in their lives. Hematomas may occur in any blood vessel, including veins, arteries, and capillaries. It is similar to a hemorrhage (bleeding). A hemorrhage involves ongoing bleeding. In hematoma, the blood has typically already clotted.

How bad is my hematoma?

Mild: Mild symptoms; intervention not indicated

Moderate: Minimally invasive evacuation or aspiration indicated

Severe: Transfusion; invasive intervention indicated

How to manage mild hematoma?

Simple therapies at home may be utilized in treating mild and superficial (under the skin) hematomas.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

Apply the ice or cold pack for 20 minutes, 4 to 8 times a day. Compression can be achieved by using elastic bandages, and elevation of the injured area above the level of the heart is recommended.

How to manage moderate and severe hematoma?
  • If a hematoma is painful, it is best to seek medical attention. A doctor can provide tips on wrapping or bracing the area. See a doctor if the area shows signs of infection, discoloration, swelling, and feeling warm to the touch.
  • Anyone who has had a head injury should see a doctor regularly to report any symptoms. A doctor may order imaging scans if they suspect a hematoma inside the skull.
  • Anyone who has been involved in a serious accident should regularly check in with their doctor. After the initial inflammation from the injuries goes down, doctors may want to check for bruising or hematoma affecting the internal tissues and organs.
What causes hematoma?

It may appear without any identifiable cause.

  • Injuries and trauma are the most common causes of hematomas. Any damage to the walls of the blood vessels may cause blood leakage. This blood pools as it escapes the blood vessel, causing a hematoma.
  • Injuries do not have to be severe to cause hematomas. People may experience a hematoma under their toenails from a simple injury.
  • More significant injuries that are sustained from vehicle crashes, falling from a height, or an aneurysm may cause severe hematomas.
  • Some surgical procedures (medical, dental, or cosmetic operations) may lead to a hematoma as they can damage nearby tissues and blood vessels.
  • Some blood thinners may increase the risk of hematomas. People who regularly take aspirin, warfarin, or dipyridamole may be more likely to experience hematomas.

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