Bruise / haematoma information sheet

Bruise / haematoma information sheet

After having your blood drawn, it’s fairly normal to have a small bruise. A bruise usually appears because of damage to small blood vessels as your healthcare provider inserts the needle. A bruise might also form if there wasn’t enough pressure applied after the needle is removed.

Symptoms of a bruise/haematoma include pain, tenderness to touch, swelling, and discoloration. Be aware that another area of discoloration often appears below the area of a severe bruise or haematoma several days later. Gravity pulls the blood downward between the layers of tissue. A bruise or hematoma usually goes away with time. The blood in a bruise or hematoma is broken down (you may notice a range of colour changes at this time) and is eventually reabsorbed and put back to use by the body.

Measures you should take to help treat your bruise / haematoma:

1. Rest the affected area.

2. Elevate the affected area. Elevation helps reduce pain and swelling. Keep your arm above the level of your heart.

3. Apply cold packs to the area off-and-on for the first two days after injury. Cold helps ease discomfort, and minimizes additional swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the area. Aim for coolness, yet comfort, by applying a layer or two of cloth between the cold pack and affected area.

4. After two days, use a warm washcloth wrapped in a towel or heating pad which may help heal the bruise more quickly.

5. Please consult your doctor if you are experiencing a sharp increase in pain, a sudden large increase in swelling, or pain/numbness/lack of colour in your arm. In addition, please consult your doctor if the pain and swelling are not progressively decreasing over days to a week.

Date issued 15 June 2022
Authorised by: HOD, Patient Services