Hematomas cause irritation and inflammation. Symptoms depend upon their location and whether the size of the hematoma or the associated swelling and inflammation causes structures nearby to be affected. The common symptoms of inflammation include redness, pain, and swelling.
In general, superficial hematomas of skin, soft tissue, and muscle tend to resolve over time. The initial firm texture of the blood clot gradually becomes more spongy and soft as the clot is broken down by the body, and the shape changes as the fluid drains away and the hematoma flattens. The color changes from that of a purplish-blue bruise to yellows and browns as the blood chemicals gradually are removed and the hematoma resolves. 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.
Intracranial, epidural, subdural, and intracerebral hematomas often need neurosurgical intervention to stabilize the injury.
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