Nosebleed (cont.)

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When should you call your doctor or go to an emergency room for a nosebleed?

  • If bleeding cannot be stopped or keeps occurring.
  • If bleeding is rapid, or if blood loss is large.
  • If you feel weak or faint.
  • If your nosebleed is associated with trauma to the face, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision.
  • If your nosebleed is associated with a fever or headache.
  • If your infant or baby has a nosebleed, contact the pediatrician.

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

Nasal packs are used when less conservative measures fail. 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 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.


Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012.

Alter, Harrison, MD et al. "Patient information: Nosebleeds (epistaxis) (Beyond the Basics)." UpToDate. Mar, 11, 2014

Claire Shovlin, PhD, FRCP. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome). 26 June 2015. 28 August 2015

Suh MD, Jeffrey D. and Rohit Garg, MD, MBA. Epistaxis (Nosebleeds). 2011. 28 August 2015

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2015

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Nosebleed - Length Symptoms Lasted Question: How long did the symptoms of your nosebleed last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?
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