What to Do for a Nosebleed

Nosebleeds are most often not serious. The bleeding is normally easily stopped following a few simple procedures.

There is nothing quite as alarming as a sudden rush of blood coming from your nose! Alarming as it is, nosebleeds are most often not serious. Bleeding can be profuse and it may seem as though gallons of blood are pouring from the nose. The bleeding is normally easily stopped following a few simple procedures.

Stopping the Gush of Blood

Regardless of the cause for the nosebleed, your number one priority is to get the bleeding under control. Most people mistakenly tilt the head back during a nosebleed. If you lean back, the blood can run into your throat and sinuses, causing choking or inhalation of blood. You should lean slightly forward, pinching the soft parts of the nose together with the index finger and thumb. You may have to stay in this position for several minutes to finally get the nose to stop bleeding.

After the Bleeding has Stopped

Once the bleeding has stopped, remain still with the head at a higher level than the heart. Do not lie down. Keep a cold pack applied to the nose and cheeks. You should rest with your head elevated to prevent the nosebleed from occurring again. Try to avoid straining, lifting or blowing your nose. Refrain from smoking and remain on a soft diet with no hot liquids for at least 24 hours. You should also refrain from taking any medications that might thin the blood such as asprin, ibuprofen, Plavix, or Coumadin. Contact your physician before stopping any medication.

Preventing Nosebleeds

Drying of the nasal membranes is a common cause of nosebleeds. Try lubricating the inside of the nose with an ointment. Apply it gently to the inside of the nose with a Q-tip or fingertip. A & D is a good ointment to use, as well as vaseline. Another good remedy is using a humidifier. This can moisten the indoor air and keep your nose from drying out. If you suffer from allergies, getting the proper medication to control your allergic symptoms may also help in the prevention of nosebleeds. Drugs use including alcohol, cocaine or any drug snorted through the nose will aggravate a nosebleed condition.

When to Call a Doctor for a Nosebleed

Even though nosebleeds can usually be easily stopped, frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of a more serious condition and you should consult your physician. There is a possibility you could have a bleeding disorder. Frequent nosebleeds can also be an early sign of Leukemia.

If you have a severe nosebleed that cannot be stopped within 10 to 15 minutes, you should go to an emergency room. The doctor may have to pack your nose with special gauze or an inflatible balloon made of latex or cauterize the blood vessel to stop the bleeding .

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/nosebleed/article.htm

http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/nosebleeds.html

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/firstaid/basics/132.html

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