Your Health


What your bruise could be: Hematoma

What is Hematoma?

Hematoma is an abnormal collection of clotted blood leakage into tissue, after the wall of a blood vessel has been damaged. This can be caused by blood being drawn, force applied to the skin, or any minor injury. The tissue with accumulated blood that lies under the skin results in a bruised appearance. This gradually does fade, but initially turns yellowish-green as it heals.

Blood vessels often require repair and the body continually undertakes this task, but it fails if the damage is extensive.

What to do and how to enhance the healing process?

  • Maintain pressure through a dressing over the affected region for at least eight hours
  • Avoid exerting that body part
  • Elevate the affected area to prevent further leakage of blood
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for periods of 10 to 20 minutes several times a day
  • Take basic pain killers if pain or discomfort persists

Further action

Hematoma resulting in bruising is not typically threatening, but it is advised to visit a medical practitioner if you experience:

  • Discoloration in the bruised region
  • General pain
  • Numbness on the ligament or body part injured
  • Swelling or throbbing


The Aga Khan University Hospital Clinical Laboratory, Karachi, Pakistan