Q: How can you control a hematoma?
medical emergencies, hematoma, dental hygiene exam prep

Q: How can you control a hematoma?

Q: How can you control a hematoma?

(A.) Apply heat for 20 minutes
(B.) Apply ice for 2 minutes
(C.) Alternate ice and heat
(D.) All the above

medical emergencies, hematoma, dental hygiene exam prep
Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Exams!

First of all, what is a hematoma? A hematoma is the outflow of blood into extravascular spaces. In dentistry, a hematoma can occur when the needle damages the blood vessels during an injection. The density of the tissue dictates how the hematoma develops: if the tissue is dense, the spread will be limited; if the tissue is loose, the spread will be more severe. Other facts you have to know for the Dental Hygiene Board Exams are here:

  • A hematoma can cause trismus, swelling, pain, and discoloration of the skin into a blue/purple hue.
  • When swelling occurs, apply direct pressure and ice for at least 2 minutes to stop the bleeding.
  • Avoid heat the first day as this can spread the blood by vasodilation to surrounding areas. But heat can be applied the next day as vasodilation can help with blood resorption.
  • A hematoma usually resolves on its own within 7-14 days.

Answer: (B.) Apply ice for 2 minutes

While we’re at it, let’s review one condition that needs the oppositewarm compressions. Have you heard of trismus? It is the inability to open the mouth fully due to spasm of the jaw muscles. Trismus can be caused by:

  • Prolonged opening of the jaw
  • Dental injections if muscles are perforated
  • Infections that spread to the tissues

To alleviate the condition, apply warm compresses and recommend muscle relaxants. Also, tell the patient to exercise the jaw several times (chewing gums will naturally do that) and to massage the area. Just like a hematoma, the condition should resolve on its own rather quickly.

Medical Emergencies appear often in dental hygiene board exams (NBDHE or NDHCE). The local anesthesia board exams (WREB and CDCA) also feature medical emergencies.

Luckily, there are not that many medical emergencies that we have to know for the dental hygiene board exams (NBDHE, NDHCE, WREB, CDCA). At StudentRDH, we have identified 19 emergencies that you absolutely have to know. Try this chapter for FREE TODAY! It is one of the shortest chapters available at StudentRDH within the National Board Review Course and you will learn so much with our concise format. Email me at ClaireJ@StudentRDH.com in case you have questions!

I hope you don’t experience a hematoma, but in case you do, you already know what to do!

National (NBDHE, NDHCE)+ Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Review by StudentRDH
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(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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