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External Bruise S003

Last amended 
21 February 2023
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
5 of 2016
Balance of Probabilities SOP
6 of 2016
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 187

ICD Coding

ICD-10-AM Codes: H11.3, S00, S20, S30, S40, S50, S60, S70, S80, S90, T11.05, T13.05, T14.05

Brief description

An external bruise is a bruise / contusion / haematoma visible on the surface of the body, i.e. in the skin or subcutaneous tissues or the conjuctiva or sclera of the eye.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis can be made, based on the clinical appearance, by any medical practitioner.

Diagnoses covered by these SOPs

  • Conjunctival (subconjuctival) haemorrhage
  • Contusion of skin or subcutaneous tissues
  • Haematoma of skin or subcutaneous tissues
  • Scleral haemorrhage (of the eye)
Conditions not covered by these SOPs
  • Bleeding/haematoma in an internal organ or structure (including muscle).
Clinical onset

Clinical onset wil be within a short time (minutes to hours) after the trauma to the site that has caused the bruise.

Clinical worsening

External bruises typically resolve completely within weeks.  Larger bruises may take longer to heal and may require drainage.  Calcification of bruises with longer term consequences can occur with a deep bruise but generally not with an external (superficial) bruise.