February 18, 2011 by dailybolusoflr
* This is s a common injury sustained by participants of contact sports, especially wrestling, boxing or martial arts.
* The hematoma is formed by bleeding from the great auricular artery and is due to the anterior auricular perichondrium pulling away from the cartilage. This leads to torn blood vessels and a hematoma may result.
* The common malformation, which may result from an auricular hematoma, is known as a “cauliflower ear” and is malformed cartilage on the anterior auricle.
* Auricular hematomas need to be drained when found after trauma.
* Needle aspiration is no longer a recommended technique.
* Incision and drainage is preferred.
* Prevention of re-accumulation of the hematoma is also an important part of treatment. This is accomplished by application of a compression dressing after drainage.
For a step by step demonstration of application of a compression dressing, please visit
Linda Regan, MD FACEP
Program Director, Emergency Medicine Residency
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions