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Child star Danielle “Dee” Spencer (What’s Happening) suffered a bleeding hematoma decades ago after a fatal accident that killed her stepfather and left her in a coma. It made people wonder: what is a hematoma? 

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Hematoma has been defined as “a collection of blood outside of blood vessels,” according to rxlist.com. They’re usually caused by injury to the wall of a blood vessel and can be a result from an injury to the arteries, veins or small capillaries. 

Rxlist.com reports:

Hematoma is a very common problem encountered by many people at some time in their lives. Hematomas can be seen under the skin or nails as purplish bruises of different sizes. Skin bruises can also be called contusions. Hematomas can also happen deep inside the body where they may not be visible. Hematomas may sometimes form a mass or lump that can be felt. Sometimes hematomas are named based on their location. Some examples include:

  • Subdural hematoma: a hematoma between the brain tissue and the inside lining of the brain
  • Spinal epidural hematoma: a hematoma between spinal vertebrae and the outside lining of the spinal cord
  • Intracranial epidural hematoma: a hematoma between the skull and the outside lining of the brain
  • Subungual hematoma: a hematoma under the nail
  • Intra-abdominal, peritoneal, or retroperitoneal hematoma: a hematoma inside the abdominal cavity
  • Ear or aural hematoma: a hematoma between the ear cartilage and overlying skin
  • Splenic hematoma: a hematoma within the spleen
  • Hepatic hematoma: a hematoma within the liver

Sometimes the body repairs them on its on, and other times surgery is necessary to remove it. 

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