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Is a blood clot and a hemotoma the same thing?

Last post Jan 30, 2010 10:03 AM by ICURN . 3 replies.


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  • Is a blood clot and a hemotoma the same thing?

    I always thought a hemotoma was something that burst and then could kill you. I know people have clots and they dissolve them some how. What is the differenct if any. My friend said her DB has 2 in his brain after a slight stroke.

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  • Re: Is a blood clot and a hemotoma the same thing?

    They are not the same thing. Basically a blood clot is a piece of dried blood. If you have one in a blood vessel and it moves to either the heart, lungs or brain it can be very bad (depends on which blood vessel it is and how much of the blood vessel it takes up), What it causes depends on where it is. If it is in the heart, it can cause a heart attack if it is large enough to block blood supply to an area of the heart. If it is in the head, it can cause a stroke if it is large enough to block blood flow to that part of the brain. If it goes to the lungs, that is a pulmonary embolism and none of these things are good things.

    A hematoma is completely different. It is basically just a huge blood blister (I have seen them up to 3 or 4 inch diameter). It depends on which blood vessel it is in. In the old days before they were using the seal thing that they do now after angiograms we used to get patients who would get them in the femoral area (large vessel in the groin area) if they moved around too much the first few hours and we would have to put sandbags on them and sometimes have 2 or 3 nurses hold them and put pressure on them. Usually that is more of a slow seeping. I have never actually heard of anyone bleeding out from a hematoma, but I wouldn't give a guarantee that it would be impossible.

    I think you may be thinking of an aneurysm. That is where there is a weak wall in the blood vessel (sort of like a garden hose with a big bulge in a spot)  and depending on where it is, people can bleed out with those. Especially if it is in the abdominal ascending aorta (AAA). I have known of people dying from a ruptured AAA and also from blood vessels in the brain with an aneurysm. Sometimes they can catch them beforehand and put clips in them to hold them.

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    Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God's goodness in spite of life's tragedies. Dave Branon

  • Re: Is a blood clot and a hemotoma the same thing?

    Thanks for all the info. I will tell my friend what I found out. I remember years and years ago having the sandbag laid on my upper thigh for like an hour and not moving at all. She said it was an  aneurysm in his head as I recall now.

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  • Re: Is a blood clot and a hemotoma the same thing?

    A blood clot is a number of red cells together that form a solid mass inside of a vessel.  A blood clot in the brain is called an embolic stroke.

    A hematoma is a collection of blood that has clotted outside of the vessel wall that forms a large mass that contains the tissue around the area.  This is called and intracranial hemorrhage, where the blood is into the tissures.

    An aneurysm whether it is encapsolated or ruptured is either a clot or a hematoma.  The aneurysm itself can clot off and cause a large blood clot in the brain or it can leak out into the surrounding brain tissues and cause a large hematoma in the subarachnoid space. 

    Either way they need to be treated or the patient has a high risk for some permanent brain damage.  They are coiling most aneurysms these days in the endovascular labs that are few and far between.  We used to clip them surgically and then have to wait for weeks and weeks for the patient to heal.  Many still take months to heal from this and many are all good in a few days.

    I'm a neuro ICU nurse.

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