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what is a hematoma?

  • Posted Aug 26, 2011
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A hematoma, or haematoma, is a localized collection of blood outside the blood vessels, usually in liquid form within the tissue.

wiki español

Un hematoma es una acumulación de sangre, causado por la rotura de vasos capilares, que aparece generalmente como respuesta corporal resultante de un golpe, una contusión o una magulladura.

Hematoma en el codo, nueve días después de una extracción de sangre. alt text

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  • This is correct, as I think of it a bruise is when the blood is interspersed among the interstitial tissue, whereas a hematoma is where there actually is a pocket of blood, that if it were fresh and not yet clotted you could put a needle in and drain. - Stadt Aug 26, 2011 flag
  • Lovely photo. Yeesh. - SonrisaDelSo Aug 26, 2011 flag
  • And if it were later and clotted, could still be opened and have clots extracted. Not that you would normally do that unless there were some reason to. - Stadt Aug 26, 2011 flag
  • I had the other photo in the reply first, but thought it too gruesome, so I used the other. - 0074b507 Aug 26, 2011 flag
2 Vote

It's also known as a bruise - una moradura.

2 Vote

I agree with Stadt. A bruise might be a minor subset of a hematoma but I don't usually think of a bruise when that word is used.

2 Vote

Stop, stop, you're both right.....the severity of a hematoma can range anywhere from a minor bruise to a large collection of blood outside of the vessels that needs surgical intervention and evacuation. But both are, by definition, hematomas.

It's much like the word laceration....that can be anything from a paper cut to a near decapitation. It's all a matter of degree. That's why both words are commonly modified with an adjective when one is describing it medically....a small hematoma...a 7 cm hematoma...numerous small lacerations....a major, gaping laceration etc.

  • You are correct in terms of definition, but like nizhoni, in common usage, if I hear the word hematoma, I still expect to encounter something discrete or palpable,even if small, whether or not a bruise is technically defined as a hematoma as well. - Stadt Aug 27, 2011 flag
  • I spent many years as a Critical Care nurse. Even the word bruise covers a huge range of severity, from the tiny bruises we get every day to large bruises that cover a huge area or deep bone bruises that are very painful & take a long time to resolve. - Echoline Aug 27, 2011 flag
  • No arguments regarding severity, I have seen severe and minor bruises and severe and minor hematomas, and recognize that in the technical definition of hematoma does include bruise. But in how I communicate normally, if I say or see hematoma I expect... - Stadt Aug 27, 2011 flag
  • ..a macroscopic space filled with blood, and if I use ecchymosis, contusion, or bruise, I expect the blood is diffused through the interstitium and not in a discrete pocket. Whether or not that is correct, that is how I use these words on a regular basis - Stadt Aug 27, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Ok I don't want to get into too much detail but I've had to have a hematoma removed and let me tell you it is N O T a bruise. Bruises lay flat against the skin, like in the picture here. A hematoma protrudes from the body, and that's all I'm gonna say. Suffice it to say you don't want one.

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