Nosebleed (cont.)

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What should I do if the doctor has placed nasal packs?

Nasal packs are used when less conservative measures fail (see previously). These packs are frequently placed in both sides of the nose. The packs are usually made of a material called "Merocel" which is a compressed sponge-like material or a gel gauze-wrapped balloon (called a "Rhino Rocket") used to help compress the area of the nose that is bleeding. The doctor usually does leaves them in for several days. This requires a follow-up appointment so your doctor can remove the packs.

The patient will need someone to drive them and bring them home after the nasal packs are removed. During this time, the patient may be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication as needed.

It is not uncommon for the nose to drain a blood-tinged material. Folded gauze taped under the nose (a mustache dressing) is often useful. The doctor may permit the patient to clean the nostrils with hydrogen peroxide soaked Q-tips. Prevention methods described previously should be considered to help to avoid bleeding again.

Picture of Mustache Dressing
Picture of Mustache Dressing

Patients with nosebleeds should not take aspirin or any other blood thinning products. If patients are already taking these medications when the nosebleed is noticed, they should notify their doctor.

REFERENCES:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

TeensHealth.org. Nosebleeds.

UpToDate. Patient information: Nosebleeds (epistaxis) (Beyond the Basics).

NHS.uk. Nosebleeds in pregnancy.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/12/2014

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