Hematoma

  • Medical Author:
    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.

  • Medical Editor: Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    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.

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Hematoma in Head Symptoms

What are the symptoms of a head injury?

The symptoms of head injury can vary from almost none to loss of consciousness and coma. As well, the symptoms may not necessarily occur immediately at the time of injury. While a brain injury occurs at the time of trauma, it may take time for enough swelling or bleeding to occur to cause symptoms that are recognizable.

Initial symptoms may include a change in mental status, meaning an alteration in the wakefulness of the patient. There may be loss of consciousness, lethargy, and confusion.

Quick GuideConcussions & Brain Injuries: Symptoms, Tests, Treatment

Concussions & Brain Injuries: Symptoms, Tests, Treatment

Hematoma 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. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 9/17/2015
References
REFERENCE:

Longo, Dan, et al. Harrisons's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2011.

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