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Dissected Aorta and Hematomas, Keeping a Heart Valve Clicking also can Cause Bleedout - Hematoma is what the doctor at Florida Hospital in St. Augustine called the lump on my back.  It was very large.  I am not sure how it got there but after three days of pain I had my son drive me to the ER.
Dissected Aorta and Hematomas, Keeping a Heart Valve Clicking also can Cause Bleedout
Bleeding from recent hematoma

I'd never really researched what a hematoma was before.  The ER doctor gave me a couple information sheets about the causes, symptoms and cures and sent me home with written instructions to rest and place an ice pack on the grapefruit size lump, four or five times a day.

Hematoma is generally defined as a collection or pooling of blood outside of normal blood vessels, due to an injury where internal bleeding has occurred.   My injury occurred around my right shoulder blade.  At the worst, I estimated that I bled about a half gallon of blood that eventually collected and pooled around my waist.

This was a big one.  I lost so much blood that I could only walk a few steps without having to sit down and rest.  However because of my warfarin (Coumadin) regime to keep my mechanical heart valve from clotting up, any trauma - large or small - could precipitate spontaneous internal bleeding and fluid collection.

Most of the time for me the hematomas are small to medium size and resolve themselves within several months.  This larger one is being persistent.  It has been two weeks yet is still bloody looking and quite swollen near the original injury site.

Importantly, though hematomas are collections of blood they do not have blood flowing through them.  This opens up the possibility of infection setting in where the blood is pooling.  Ugh.  After my six month episode of endocarditis and fungal growth on my Dacron aorta graft I really am in no mood for another bout with heart infection and peripherally inserted central catheter line with anti-everything treatment.

So I am taking lots of vitamin C and turmeric and supplements, staying well bathed and eating good foods and resting in my recliner without moving much at all.  I've seen the ER doctor and my cardiologist also.

My cardiologist says to watch the size of the hematoma closely and if it becomes hot or grows in size to seek medical attention immediately.

I want to stick a sewing needle in the lump and allow the fluid to drain but of course I would not because of the risk of infection.

To top all this off my connective tissue disorder (Marfan Syndrome) subjects me to daily situations where I can bend over, reach up or do any number of regular, normal body movements and I'll tear a muscle or ligament or something inside.

Then with another tear the bleeding starts again.  Another hematoma.  Double whammy.  Warfarin and Marfan.  Tear bleed, tear bleed, tear bleed.

And each time a tear occurs and bleeding starts I always foremost wonder it I am bleeding out from an aneurysm; or 'is this the big one?' as Fred Sanford eloquently said.  After all, my dissected descending aorta is... paper thin.

Life with connective tissue disorders and anti-coagulant medications is a challenge.  Yep, it is the new reality for me.  But I am also so very glad to be alive to experience it.
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