Medical Definition of Bloody nose

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Bloody nose: Bleeding from the blood vessels of the nose. The nose is rich in blood vessels and is situated in a vulnerable position on the face. As a result, any trauma to the face can cause bleeding, which may be profuse. Nosebleeds can also occur spontaneously when the nasal membranes dry out, crust, and crack, as is common in dry climates or during winter months, when the air is dry and warm from household heaters. People have increased susceptibility to nosebleeds if they are taking medications that prevent normal blood clotting, such as warfarin (brand name: Coumadin), aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory medication. Other predisposing factors include infection, trauma, allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, hypertension, alcohol abuse, and inherited bleeding problems. Also known as epistaxis.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018