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What are the symptoms of a hematoma?

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Common symptoms of a hematoma, which is a collection of blood outside a blood vessel, include swelling, redness and bruising. Other hematoma symptoms depend where the hematoma is located, which can be epidural, subdural, subungual and splenic. Symptoms of a subdural hematoma include confusion, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, according to WebMD.

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People with a subdural hematoma may have a change in behavior, feel apathetic or begin to have seizures, explains WebMD. Slow-growing hematomas may not produce noticeable symptoms for a few weeks after bleeding has begun, and in some cases, a person may seem normal for a few days but slowly develop confusion or experience a state of unconsciousness due to a slow rate of bleeding. Severe bleeding, often caused by head injuries, can result in a person becoming comatose or unconscious immediately.

Subdural hematomas are typically caused by a head injury as a result from an assault, a motor vehicle accident or a fall, according to WebMD. When a person experiences a blow to the head, blood vessels along the surface of the brain can tear, causing bleeding outside the brain.

Elderly people are often more at risk for chronic subdural hematoma, even if a head injury does not occur, because once the brain shrinks, the veins are more susceptible to tearing, explains WebMD. People who take blood thinners or suffer from a bleeding disorder are also more susceptible to hematomas.

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