heat haematoma

heat haematoma

An often bilateral pool of blood seen in the extradural space that occurs in response to severe heating of the skull in a fire. It is often accompanied by burning of the scalp, and simulates antemortem extradural/epidural haematomas. In heat haematomas, the brain itself may show heat-related changes and the hematoma is friable rather than jelly-like as in a proper extradural haematoma.
Carboxyhemoglobin is present in the clot and correlates with the levels of carboxyhaemoglobin in peripheral blood. Heat haematomas are normal postmortem findings in contrast to extradural haematomas, which are caused by trauma and are thus forensically significant.