Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Most of us would have had a nosebleed, especially during childhood. However it can still occur in adults. It is usually incited by trauma such as nose digging and upper respiratory tract infection. Sometimes the amount of bleeding can be alarming. Doctors would refer nosebleeds as epistaxis in its medical term.

What to do during nosebleeds?
1.       Sit down calmly.
2.       Bend upper body and head forwards, this will prevent swallowing of the blood which can upset the stomach and cause vomiting.
3.       Use a tissue paper of soft towel to pinch the soft part of the nose using the thumb and index finger.
4.       Breathe through the mouth and spit out any blood trickling down the back of the throat.
5.       Continue to pinch the nose between 5 to 15 minutes. Check after first 5 minutes to see if the bleeding has stopped.
6.       It may help to gargle with ice water or to suck on an ice cube.
7.       Once the bleeding stops, do not pick the nose or blow harshly to remove the blood clots. Avoid straining and lifting heavy objects.
8.       If it continues to bleed, please seek medical help.
When to seek medical treatment?
·         If the bleeding does not stop despite the above measures after 15-20 minutes
·         Nosebleeds following trauma to the nose or head/face area
·         Repeated episodes of nosebleeds
·         When you feel faint, dizzy or appear pale
·         Large amount of bleeding especially with blood clots
·         If you are taking medications that thin the blood such as Aspirin or Warfarin
·         Nosebleeds associated with bruising on other parts of the body

What are the causes of epistaxis?
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Nose digging or vigorous nose blowing
  • Dry, low humidity air
  • Trauma to face or nose
  • Allergic and non allergic rhinitis
  • Foreign objects inserted into the nose
  • Use of medications such as Aspirin and Warfarin
  • High blood pressure
  • Tumours

The nasal cavity is well vascularized.
Epistaxis commonly occurs from the Little area.
Posterior epistaxis is often more serious.

Printable leaflet

No comments:

Post a Comment