Sunday, 13 May 2012

What is a Hematoma?

My Experience with Hematoma

Up until recently I had no idea what a hematoma was let alone what to do if I ever got one. This particular article will go through my experience with hematoma and how I deal with them whenever they crop up. There are loads of different types of hematoma so I have included a link at the bottom of the page that explains all about them.

The particular type of hematoma I most commonly get it called a subcutaneous hematoma and I get them on my tummy most of the time. I also suffer from scalp hematoma from time to time as well if it's hot or if I've hit my head.

So What is a Hematoma?

BruisingA hematoma is defined as blood or a clot that has left the blood vessel. The most common form of hematoma you will know of is a bruise. However, with the hematoma that I get there is often a lump, swelling and pain at the site.

The picture on the right is my most recent one and it is really sore. It is black in the middle and turns yellow as it expands. You can't really see it on the photo but there is a great big lump in the middle.

Why Do I get Hematoma?

The reason I get hematoma on my tummy are due to my Clexane injections that I need to do twice a day. Not fun I know, but it's the only way of keeping me alive at the moment. I have to use Clexane to thin my blood to prevent clotting and to also help to break down the massive clot that I have at the moment. You can find out more information about this in the 'Related Links' section below.

How Does a Hematoma Affect Me and Are They Painful?

Hematoma are a pain in the a$$ to be completely honest but I have to deal with them because they are a by-product of my injections. They can often get very sore to the touch and I sometimes can't wear my nice clothes because the band that goes on my tummy will rub the affected area and can sometimes cause it to bleed again.

As you can see in the photo I'm wearing sweat pants. That's because the one that I have right now is the worst one yet, it hurts to even put the soft band of those huge sweat pants on it. I'm thinking about wearing a dress to work because then I wont have to worry about the band digging in when I sit down. 

Bending down or lifting heavy can cause them to hurt too. Basically anything that puts pressure or stress on the area will aggravate it and then it will take longer to go away.

Doing and injection when you have a hematoma can start to get difficult too. The reason there's a bruise /lump there in the first place was because it wasn't a great injection site to start with - there was little pain but I obviously nicked a blood vessel whilst I was there. This now means that I wont be able to use that area at all until the blood has cleared and the swelling has gone down, which means I am now at a great risk of developing more hematoma as my injection sites have decreased and there will be less time between sites.

How Do I Treat a Hematoma?

The worst thing you can do is to rub an injection site, especially if you think you've got a bleed there. Clexane is a blood thinner so at ground zero (the injection site) the tissue and blood will be at it's thinnest. I would also advise against pushing on a bleeding site as this can create a harder lump, if I'm bleeding for more than a few seconds then I put a piece of tissue over the area so it can soak up any blood without putting any pressure there. If, however, I have a serious bleed and it wont stop after 10 minutes then it's a trip to the emergency room as something has gone horribly wrong and I will need some help clotting.

If the hematoma crops up a few hours later or the day after and it's sore I've found that putting a cool cloth on the area can help to decrease the pain. One thing you don't want to do is to have a hot bath or shower, stick to warm/cool temperatures as this helps to keep the blood vessels at their regular size - if they don't have to dilate or anything then all the better.

The best thing I've found in general is just to leave them alone, try not to aggravate it with any heat, pressure or stress and it should do it's thing and go away.

If you're concerned about the size or pain level of your hematoma then I would highly recommend seeking medical help as it might need to be removed via surgery if it is causing internal issues.  

How Long Does a Hematoma Last For?

Depending on the size will depend on how long it wants to stick around for. If you have a tiny little lump with no bruising then it'll most likely be a couple of days. If, however, you have a stonker of a hematoma like the one in the picture then it will probably hang around for a couple of weeks before it even thinks about disappearing.

So there you have it, my experiences with hematoma. Like I said before, if you're concerned about your hematoma, go see your doctor.

Related Links

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