Medical Definition of Hematoma

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hematoma: A localized swelling that is filled with blood caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel. The breakage may be spontaneous, as in the case of an aneurysm, or caused by trauma. The blood is usually clotted or partially clotted, and it exists within an organ or in a soft tissue space, such as muscle. Treatment depends on the location and size of the hematoma but usually involves draining the accumulated blood. A hematoma in or near the brain is particularly dangerous.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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