Classification and external resources

Hematoma on thigh, 6 days after a fall down stairs, 980 ml of blood drained a few days later
ICD-10 T14.0
DiseasesDB 5487
MeSH D006406

A hematoma, or haematoma, is a localized collection of blood outside the blood vessels,[1] usually in liquid form within the tissue. This distinguishes it from an ecchymosis, which is the spread of blood under the skin in a thin layer, commonly called a bruise. Internal bleeding is generally considered to be a spreading of blood within the abdomen or skull, not within muscle.

It is not to be confused with hemangioma which is an abnormal build up of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs.



The word "hematoma" came into usage around 1850. The word derives from the Greek roots "hemat-" (blood) and -oma, from soma, meaning body = a body of blood. Another etymological derivation would be from "haemat-" and "-oma" = "-ing", thus simply "bleeding".

Hematomas can occur within a muscle. Some hematomas form into hard masses under the surface of the skin. This is caused by the limitation of the blood to a subcutaneous or intramuscular tissue space isolated by fascial planes. This is a key anatomical feature that prevents such injuries from causing massive blood loss. In most cases the sac of blood or hematoma eventually dissolves; however, in some cases they may continue to grow or show no change. If the sac of blood does not disappear, then it may need to be surgically removed. Hematomas can occur when heparin is given via an intramuscular route; to avoid this, heparin must be given intravenously or subcutaneously.

The slow process of reabsorption of hematomas can allow the broken down blood cells and hemoglobin pigment to move in the connective tissue. For example, a patient who injures the base of his thumb might cause a hematoma, which will slowly move all through the finger within a week. Gravity is the main determinant of this process.

Hematomas on articulations can reduce mobility of a member and present roughly the same symptoms as a fracture.




  • Petechiae – small pinpoint hematomas less than 3 mm in diameter
  • Purpura (purple) – a bruise about 1 cm in diameter, generally round in shape
  • Ecchymosis – subcutaneous extravasation of blood in a thin layer under the skin, ie bruising or "black and blue".



Foreign body
In alimentary tract (Bezoar)
Other By region
Hand injury · Head injury · Chest trauma · Abdominal trauma

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hematoma — Clasificación y recursos externos CIE 10 T14.0 DiseasesDB 5487 …   Wikipedia Español

  • hematoma — m. patol. Acúmulo de sangre en el interior de un tejido, ya sea superficial o profundo, a causa generalmente de un traumatismo. Cuando el volumen de sangre extravasado es pequeño, suele reabsorberse espontáneamente, pero si el volumen es… …   Diccionario médico

  • hematoma — ‘Acumulación de sangre en un tejido por rotura de un vaso sanguíneo’. Es voz masculina: el hematoma …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • hematoma — hematomà dkt. Ausiẽs, smegenų̃ hematomà …   Bendrinės lietuvių kalbos žodyno antraštynas

  • hematoma — sustantivo masculino 1. Área: medicina Derrame interno de sangre en cualquier parte del cuerpo: Le ha salido un hematoma en la piel …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Hematoma — Hem a*to ma (h[=e] m[.a]*t[=o] m[.a] or h[e^]m [.a]*t[=o] m[.a]), n. [NL. See {Hema }, and { oma}.] (Med.) A localised leakage of blood from the blood vessels into nearby tissues, usually confined within a tissue or organ; especially, a local… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hematoma — 1826, from HEMATO (Cf. hemato ) + OMA (Cf. oma) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hematoma — |ô| s. m. Derrame de sangue numa cavidade natural ou sob a pele, em consequência de uma rutura dos vasos …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • hematoma — (De hemato y oma). m. Med. Acumulación de sangre en un tejido por rotura de un vaso sanguíneo …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • hematoma — [hē΄mətō′mə, hem΄ətō′mə] n. pl. hematomas or hematomata [hē΄mə tō′mə tə, hem΄ə tō′mə tə] [ModL: see HEMAT(O) & OMA] a tumorlike collection of blood, usually clotted, located outside a blood vessel …   English World dictionary

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