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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hematoma is a collection of blood. A bruise is a type of hematoma. A hematoma may form in a muscle or in the tissues just under the skin. A hematoma that forms under the skin will feel like a bump or hard mass. Hematomas can happen anywhere in your body, including in your brain. Your body may break down and absorb a mild hematoma on its own. A more serious hematoma may need treatment.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Antibiotics prevent or treat a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have new or worsening pain, or pain that does not get better with medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You have trouble moving the body part that has the hematoma.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to have surgery if your hematoma is severe. You may also need other tests to make sure there is no other damage that needs to be treated. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Rest the area. Rest will help your body heal and will also help prevent more damage.
- Apply ice as directed. Ice helps reduce swelling. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a bag. Cover it with a towel. Place it on your hematoma for 20 minutes every hour, or as directed. Ask how many times each day to apply ice, and for how many days.
- Compress the injury if possible. Lightly wrap the injury with an elastic or soft bandage. This may help control swelling. Ask your healthcare provider how to wrap your injury properly.
- Elevate the area as directed. If possible, raise the area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling.
- Keep the hematoma covered with a bandage. This will help protect the area while it heals.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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