Infant Bruising

infant bruisingBruises are small injuries that are as a result of a blood clot or a mark on the skin due to an impact with a hard substance. In most cases, bruises are treated as minor tissue injuries resulting from damaged blood cells, but given the vulnerability of infant patients, bruising minimally requires at least cursory investigation by a health professionals. However, there are severe bruises that are indicative of an ongoing and unresolved internal medical issue. While most infant bruising stems from the birth process, and may between a few days to almost a month for a bruise mark to disappear, medically-determining that such bruising is not reflective of a deeper internal trauma to the child is critical.

Symptoms of Infant Bruising

Bruising is considered as less severe by most people which explains why no medical help is sought after a bruise. Unknown to many, severe bruising can cause severe internal injuries and it is therefore important to seek expert help when such happens. Head bruising is the worst form of bruising in terms of a medical risk standpoint, and if dealing with infant patients, requires an immediate set of responses from medical practitioners to ensure that the bruising is not commensurate with significantly more server brain type injuries in neonatal patients. Key focus regarding infant bruising should include;

  • Seeking medical attention when a bruise is accompanied by swelling of the skin and in particular if the injured party is on blood thinning medication.
  • Seek medical attention if any form of bruising occurs for a longer period of time and for no apparent reason. A bruise should not take more than four weeks to clear.
  • Seek medical attention if a sharp bruise occurs close to the eye tissues leading to a black eye. It might not be painful from the outside but could cause severe internal damages to the eye affecting vision in infants.

Causes of Exaggerated Infant Bruising

  • The intensity of the trauma is one of the greatest determinant of the extent of bruising. The harder the blow, the more severe the bruising by way of more complexly damaged capillaries in the infant’s skin. However, this bruising is merely indicative of the trauma to the epidermis, and as such, neonatal patients must be checked for internal injuries not visible on the surface in most cases
  • Blood thinning medications can cause bruising since they interfere with the normal blood clotting process. This causes excessive bleeding especially in case of neonatal coagulation disorders. Such medications include those that are used in the treatment of arthritis, aspirin and naproxen. Medication used to prevent clotting of the blood has also been cited as one of the major causes of bruising
  • Inherited blood clotting disorder such as haemophilia and liver cirrhosis can cause major bruising problems as well as excessive bleeding that is at times life threatening

Infant Bruising Treatment

When a bruise starts changing colour that is considered as a sign of healing. However, it is not advisable not to let a bruise just heal on its own despite the fact that some medical professionals may not be inclined to take bruising injuries seriously. Proper treatment of bruising, including further investigation of ancillary damages internally in cases of infants presenting bruising, should commence when the wound is still flesh. Effective treatment can either be home remedies that have over the years been found to cure bruises or medication from health facilities. While home remedies are the preferred choice for many people, not all of them are effective and medical research has established that some of them are indeed counterproductive. Some of the common methods used in infant bruising treatment are;

  • Applying frozen ice or a pack of frozen peas on the bruise so as to reduce the swelling. The cold temperatures reduce blood circulation and the pain on the inflamed part. However, people are advised not to apply ice directly to the skin as it could make the situation worse by further damaging the skin.
  • Taking painkillers to reduce the pain such as acetaminophen. Taking aspirin in bruising in not advisable as it at times slows down blood clotting causing even further bleeding on the bruise.
  • Elevating the bruise up to the area above the heart in order to reduce the level of bleeding.

In all cases of infant bruising, consulting with a medical professional before administering any home remedy is advisable. Ultimately, the main concern from a medical standpoint is whether the bruising on the neonatal patient is indicative of worse injuries internally.


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