When Should You Seek Medical Attention For A Hematoma?

A hematoma is a collection of blood that has leaked outside the blood vessels and into the enclosing tissues (via eMedicine Health). The cause varies and includes injury, disease, or certain blood-thinning medications, like warfarin. More so, it can occur in any part of the body. According to Medical News Today, hematomas can develop after surgical procedures, particularly those involving the blood vessels or tissues.

They can range in size from small bruises to large, painful masses. Some common types of hematomas include intracranial epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, ear hematoma, subcutaneous hematoma, and spinal epidural hematoma, among others.

Hematomas can cause various symptoms. In fact, it is important to seek prompt medical attention because untreated hematomas can lead to serious health complications. Fortunately, a medical professional can help determine the best course of treatment for your case and ensure prompt and effective recovery. However, here's when you should reach out to your doctor.

When to seek medical attention for a hematoma

Hematomas can range from minor inconveniences to potentially life-threatening, depending on their location and size. Luckily, according to eMedicine Health, most of them resolve independently since a large number of cases are caused by minor trauma. However, when an intense headache or confusion is present, it's crucial to seek urgent medical care. In addition, if the hematoma is painful, discolored, or shows signs of an infection, medical attention is most likely needed (via Medical News Today). This also applies if a head injury accompanies the hematoma or is rapidly expanding.

As far as the diagnosis of a hematoma goes, it typically involves a physical examination and a review of the patient's medical history (per eMedicine Health). In some cases, however, imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT, may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Once examined, a medical professional can determine the hematoma's cause, evaluate the damage's extent, and provide appropriate treatment.

How is a hematoma treated?

The treatment for a hematoma depends on its location and symptoms, according to eMedicine Health. In other words, some hematomas may not require treatment since the reabsorption of blood by the body can occur, says Medical News Today. In other cases, treatment may involve draining the hematoma, which can be done by making a small incision in the skin. However, if the hematoma is infected, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. Nevertheless, surgery may be necessary to remove the hematoma in certain circumstances.

In addition to these treatments, the doctor may advise you to rest and elevate the affected area. For example, if a hematoma occurs under the nails and skin, the experts at Medical News Today advise resting and applying a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. Again, some physicians may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve the pain.