Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The blood in the body generally flows in the blood vessels. Whenever due to any injury, the blood leaves the vessels and starts’ pooling in the outside tissues, a lump is formed underneath the skin. This mass under the skin is known as hematoma. Hematoma are different from hemangioma in the way that hematoma is the collection of blood outside the blood vessels while hemangioma is the noncancerous growth of blood vessels. As it is the blood clot outside the blood vessels, thus it is often not serious as compared to the clot inside the blood vessels.

Are Hematomas Dangerous?

Now the question is, if such process seen in the people, how much degree of danger it carries. The answer lies in the fact that the degree of danger depends upon the location where the hematoma is formed. In general circumstances, hematoma has no serious complications and it goes away on its own. However, in certain circumstances formation of hematoma is dangerous/life-threatening and may result in death.

Following are the conditions when a hematoma is dangerous and life-threatening:

  1. Hematoma of Skull: Depending upon the location of hematoma, it has been divided in to epidural, subdural and sub-arachnoid hematoma. Hematoma is a pool of blood which is hardened. There are some cases wherein this hardened clot puts pressure on the brain and the nerves. This may lead to the brain and nerve damage. There may be swelling and inflammation in the brain due to hematoma for which a surgical intervention is required. If hematoma is putting pressure on brain, the symptoms experienced are nausea, vomiting, severe headache, confusion and retarded mental ability.
  2. Peritoneal Hematoma: It is one of the major possibilities in any abdominal injury and since hematoma has got the vast place to expand, the symptoms are not experienced in the early stage. In case of expanding hematoma; surgical intervention is immediately required.
  3. Blocking Blood Vessels: In conditions such as septal hematoma, a type of hematoma occurring in nostrils, it may block the blood flow through the vessels and may cause tissue necrosis.
  4. Infectious Hematoma: If there is any infection in the hematoma such as in peritoneal hematoma or septal hematoma, further complications may arise.

What Are The Different Types of Hematoma?

The type of hematoma is defined at the site it is formed. Following are the types of hematoma generally present:

  • Hematoma found beneath the skin is known as subdermal hematoma.
  • Hematoma found in the ear is known as perichondral hematoma.
  • Hematoma found in the anal region are perianal hematoma.
  • Hematoma between the skull and the durameter is epidural hematoma.
  • Hematoma between the durameter and arachnoid is subdural hematoma.
  • Hematoma between arachnoid and piameter is subarachnoid hematoma.
  • Hematoma of abdominal is peritoneal hematoma.

What Are The Causes of Hematoma?

Hematoma is caused when there is a breach in the integrity of the blood vessels. As soon as the blood vessel ruptures, the blood moves out of the vessels and pooled in the surrounding tissues.

These are the following causes of hematoma:

  1. Hematoma due to Minor Injuries: Hematoma can occur due to minor injuries such as injury below the nails.
  2. Hematoma due to Major Injuries: Injuries such as falling from the height or involvement in a vehicle accident also causes hematoma. In such a trauma, large bleeding is seen in the internal organs such as stomach and brain.
  3. Hematoma During Surgical Procedures: During surgical procedures, the integrity of the blood vessels is hampered and the blood seeps from the vessels.
  4. Medications: Certain medication such as anticoagulants increases the risk of developing hematoma.

Conclusion

Hematoma is caused by the minor or major injury or by surgical procedures. It is the condition in which blood leaves the vessels during vessel injury and starts pooling in the surrounding tissues. Hematomas are not generally dangerous, but may be sometimes cause life-threatening complications or even death, if the organs affected are vital. Further, blockage to blood flow and infections are other complication due to hematoma.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 24, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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