Epistaxis

I think there's always pieces of yourself that bleed into your character. That's inevitable - Dustin Clare

Epistaxis

image by: Journal of Otology & Rhinology
     

 

Everyone has had a nosebleed at one time or another. So, what's the best way to deal with this bloody issue...

Tip# 1: Don’t Panic - despite the horror-movie appearance of the scene, nosebleeds are rarely a dangerous thing.

Tip# 2: Blow your nose - this doesn’t seem to make sense, but often the presence of clots in the nose prolong the bleeding. Blowing out the clots won’t make the nose bleed more, but less. Trust me on this one.

Tip# 3: Use a decongestant nasal spray - if you have neo-synephrine or Afrin nasal spray, a spray of that will cause the blood vessels to shrink and stop bleeding.

Tip# 4: Hold the nose - pinch the nose closed just below the tip for 10 minutes continuously (without peeking).

Tip# 5: Insert cotton and apply ice to the bridge of the nose - if the other measures fail, this can slow things down.

When Should You Worry About a Nosebleed?

You should seek medical attention under the following four circumstances:

  1. If the above measures don’t work.
  2. If the nosebleeds recur.
  3. If you have a blood clotting disorder or are on medications that thin the blood.
  4. If the nosebleed is caused by trauma and the bleeding doesn’t stop or you suspect the nose is broken...

Some people are prone to anterior nosebleeds, requiring a minor procedure to cauterize Kesselbach’s plexus. [Note: Nowadays if you end up in ER the procedure of choice is nasal packing as opposed to cauterization]. Posterior nosebleeds are very serious problems that require hospitalization and surgical intervention, but it’s hard to tell anterior from posterior nosebleeds other than the fact that the above procedures to stop the nose from bleeding don’t work real well on posterior bleeds.

As always: when in doubt, get it checked out by your doctor. And try to keep your fingers off of Kesselbach’s plexus!"

Source: Rob Lamberts MD, Excerpt from When Should You Worry About a Nosebleed? QuidkandDirtyTips.com, April 26, 2012.

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Last Updated : Thursday, February 27, 2020