How a Hematoma Can Affect Your Life


A hematoma occurs when blood pools or collects outside of the blood vessels. There are many different types of hematomas, with some being much more serious than others. For example, a minor hematoma can be similar to a bruise and resolve on its own without medical intervention, whereas a subdural hematoma resulting from a severe head injury requires immediate medical treatment and can have long-term effects on your quality of life.

What Causes a Hematoma?

Hematomas are typically caused by an injury to the wall of a vein, artery, or capillary. The injury causes blood to leak out of the blood vessel and collect outside its walls. Any bodily impact or trauma, such as striking your leg against an object or getting your finger caught in a door, can result in a hematoma. 

Medical and dental surgeries and even injections can all cause hematomas to form at the procedure site. Some medications, including blood thinners, NSAIDs, and vitamin E supplements can impair your blood’s ability to clot, and therefore increase the risk of hematoma development. Additionally, certain health conditions can also increase hematoma risk, such as liver disease, blood cancers and disorders, and alcoholism. 

More serious forms of hematoma, such as a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the surface of the brain), are usually the result of a severe head injury. Car accidents are the most common cause of hospitalization and death for traumatic brain injuries, including subdural hematomas. Falling from great heights, sports injuries, and violent assaults are other common causes of subdural hematomas.

Signs of a Hematoma

The symptoms of a hematoma depend on its location and severity. A superficial hematoma caused by minor trauma might be visible as a bruise or lump under your skin or nails. This type of hematoma may cause some pain and inflammation, but will usually resolve on its own with the help of rest, ice, and compression. 

Hematomas that develop inside your body’s vital organs are much more dangerous since they are not immediately visible. These more serious hematomas will cause different symptoms depending on their location. For instance, a subdural hematoma can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, seizures, nausea, difficulty speaking, and many other troubling symptoms. 

Abdominal hematomas can also be quite serious, as they can cause intestinal blockages that lead to severe infections and life-threatening sepsis. Signs of an abdominal hematoma include abdominal pain, back pain, blood in the stool or urine, nausea, and vomiting.

Long-Term Effects of a Subdural Hematoma 

Someone who sustains a subdural hematoma from car accident or other severe traumatic injury requires immediate medical intervention. Typically, a neurosurgeon needs to drain the hematoma to reduce swelling and pressure on the brain. A craniotomy may need to be performed to surgically remove large hematomas or blood clots. You can recover from a subdural hematoma if it is treated immediately; if left untreated, the blood will continue to pool and increase pressure on your brain and skull, which is usually fatal.

Some people suffer no ongoing consequences after recovering from a subdural hematoma, and will be able to live a normal life other than needing to get follow-up CT scans every few months. For less lucky patients, however, life after recovering from a subdural hematoma might include seizures or other persistent symptoms such as headaches, difficulty speaking, memory loss, dizziness, and weakness. 

Patients often require physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy after undergoing a traumatic brain injury like a subdural hematoma. Their ongoing physical symptoms, combined with the emotional anguish associated with surviving a car accident or other traumatic event, can be debilitating enough to affect their ability to work, drive a car, or go to school.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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