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Hematomas cause irritation and inflammation. Symptoms depend upon their location and whether the size of the hematoma or the associated swelling and inflammation causes nearby structures to be affected. The common symptoms of inflammation include redness, pain, and swelling.
Hematomas tend to resolve over time.
Depending upon its location, the discolorations may travel through different tissue planes by gravity. For example, a forehead hematoma may cause bruising beneath the eyes and seem to travel to the neck as it resolves over time. However, there are specific situations that may occur with hematomas in various parts of the body that show symptoms that are unique to the location of the hematomas. They are listed below.
Specific Hematoma Symptoms
Hematomas may occur commonly and have little importance while others are life-threatening. Many times it is a matter of location and situation that makes the hematoma a critical condition instead of an inconvenience.
Hematoma in Menstruating or Pregnant Women
For example, in women, during menstruation small blood clots may be passed from the vagina as the uterus empties itself as part of the normal menstrual cycle.
Bleeding in pregnancy is never normal except for a short time after the baby is born. In the first trimester, vaginal bleeding may indicate that there is a threatened miscarriage and should prompt the expectant mother to seek medical care. Not all bleeding leads to a miscarriage and many pregnancies may continue to full term with a normal baby.
Bleeding near term may an indication of a major obstetrical emergency and medical care should be accessed immediately. The two worrisome conditions in third trimester bleeding include placenta previa and placental abruption. Placenta previa describes the situation where the placenta covers the uterus and blocks the baby's path from leaving the uterus. As the cervix dilates, blood vessels within the placenta are stretched and torn and cause painless vaginal bleeding. Abruption describes a situation where the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus wall and decreases the ability to transfer oxygen rich blood to the fetus. Placental abruption usually causes significant pain.
Hematomas of the Head
Intracranial hematomas describe blood clots that occur within the skull. These clots affect brain function because any bleeding or swelling may cause increased pressure to build within the closed space of the bony skull. The increased pressure squeezes the brain and causes it to stop functioning appropriately. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, headache, and mental alterations. Intracranial hematomas are named based upon where they are located, either within the brain, the tissues that line the brain, or in the spaces that bathe the brain in fluid (CSF=cerebrospinal fluid).
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