[O. Fr. bruiser, to break]
A traumatic injury (usually to the skin but sometimes to internal organs) in which blood vessels are broken but tissue surfaces remain intact. Discoloration, swelling, inflammation, and pain are typical signs and symptoms. Fresh bruises on the skin are often red or purple. Older bruises may turn green and then yellow or brown, as the blood products within them age and are reabsorbed, but gauging the age of a bruise by its color is imprecise, at best. Bruising in infants may suggest occult child abuse. Bruising in older adults is more often an indication of the use of anticoagulant drugs than of physical mistreatment.
SYN: SEE: ecchymosis
Cold packs may reduce swelling and discomfort, esp. when provided soon after injury. Twenty-four to 48 hr later, application of heat may be desirable, followed by gentle massage.
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