Nosebleed (cont.)

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How do you stop the common nosebleed?

Most people who develop nose bleeding can handle the problem without the need of a physician if they follow the step-by-step first aid recommendations below:

  1. Pinch all the soft parts of the nose together between the thumb and index finger.
  2. Press firmly toward the face - compressing the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of the face.
  3. Lean forward slightly with the head tilted forward. Leaning back or tilting the head back allows the blood to run back into the sinuses and throat and can cause gagging or inhaling the blood.
  4. Hold the nose for at least five minutes. Repeat as necessary until the nose has stopped bleeding.
  5. Sit quietly, keeping the head higher than the level of the heart. Do not lay flat or put your head between your legs.
  6. Apply ice (wrapped in a towel) to nose and cheeks.

How do you prevent the nose from bleeding again?

  1. Go home and rest with head elevated at 30 to 45 degrees.
  2. Do not blow your nose or put anything into it. If you have to sneeze, open your mouth so that the air will escape out the mouth and not through the nose.
  3. Do not strain during bowel movements. Use a stool softener (for example, docusate [Colace]).
  4. Do not strain or bend down to lift anything heavy.
  5. Try to keep your head higher than the level of your heart.
  6. Do not smoke.
  7. Stay a cool diet of soft, cool foods and beverages. No hot liquids for at least 24 hours.
  8. Do not take any medications that will thin the blood for example, aspirin, ibuprofen, clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin). Do not stop taking any medications without first contacting your doctor.
  9. Your doctor may recommend some form of lubricating ointment for the inside of the nose.
  10. If re-bleeding occurs, try to clear the nose of clots by sniffing in forcefully. A temporary remedy such as a nasal decongestant spray, for example, Afrin or Neo-Synephrine may be helpful. These types of sprays constrict blood vessels. (NOTE: If used for many days at a time, these can cause addiction so they are recommended for short-term use only. Do not use if the patient has high blood pressure.)
  11. Repeat the steps above on how to stop the common nosebleed. If bleeding persists, call the doctor and/or go to the nearest emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/12/2014

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