Nosebleed
(Epistaxis, Nose Bleed, Bloody Nose)

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Nosebleed facts

  • Nosebleeds are common due to the location of the nose on the face, and the large amount of blood vessels in the nose.
  • The most common causes of nosebleeds are drying of the nasal membranes and nose picking (digital trauma), which can be prevented with proper lubrication of the nasal passages and not picking the nose.
  • Most nosebleeds can be stopped at home.
  • Consult a doctor for a nosebleed if bleeding cannot be stopped, there is a large amount of blood lost, or you feel weak or faint.
  • A doctor may use nasal packs to stop nosebleeds when conservative measures fail.
  • Do not take aspirin or other blood thinning products when you get a nosebleed (if they are doctor-prescribed, consult your doctor before stopping any medication).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/12/2014

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First Aid for Nosebleeds

If you get a nosebleed, sit down and bend forward. Sitting is preferable to lying down, since keeping the head above the level of the heart will help reduce the bleeding. Bending forward is also important. It lets the blood drain out through the nose rather than down the throat.

Hold the soft portion of your nose pinched together with your fingers until the bleeding stops. This might take five to ten minutes. Placing an ice pack across the bridge of your nose can also be helpful.