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Pinna Haematoma

Accumulation of blood under the perichondrium of the pinna, usually as a result of blunt trauma

e.g. blow to ear while playing rugby.



  • If relatively small, attempt aspiration with a large bore needle

  • If large collection of blood, the incision & drainage (under a local anaesthetic) with a pressure dressing to the pinna is required to reduce risk of recollection

  • Pressure dressing is usually applied via a Silastic sheet cut to shape and sutured to pinna 

  • Antibiotics are usually prescribed prophylactically for 7 days​

  • The patient is usually reviewed in 5 - 7 days

  • If recollection occurs a formal incision and drainage and washout under a general anaesthetic may be required

Symptoms / Clinical Findings


  • Painful swelling of the pinna

  • Swelling, this is often tense but fluctuant


The image to the right shows a large, swollen pinna post trauma

The patient should be warned of the high risk of cauliflower ear, despite treatment!

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-11 at 11.11.15 (3


WhatsApp Image 2018-09-11 at


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