Hematoma: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/18/2020

A hematoma is a localized swelling anywhere within the soft tissue spaces of the body that is filled with blood. The blood is usually clotted or partially clotted.

Depending on the location and size, a hematoma may or may not cause symptoms and signs. In some cases, a visible swelling is noticeable, or an area of skin redness, pain or tenderness, and warmth may be present. A hematoma present within the skull can exert pressure on the brain, leading to neurologic symptoms that can be life-threatening.

Causes of a hematoma

A break in the wall of a blood vessel causes a hematoma. The vessel wall breakage may occur spontaneously, such as the case of an aneurysm, or it may be caused by trauma.

Other hematoma symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.