A bruise, caused by damage to a blood vessel beneath the skin leading to accumulation of blood in the surrounding tissue before a clot can form and the blood coagulate. The condition persists for some days until the blood is broken down and completely removed; the stages of this process can be seen from the changing colour of the skin. Blood shows through the skin as blue, and the breakdown products show subsequently as green, yellow and brown – the normal sequence in the healing of a bruise. Haematoma is not dangerous, although it may cause discomfort through pressure from the accumulation of blood. If the injury is on a large scale it can be accompanied by a fever, because large quantities of breakdown products have to be cleared from the body.

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