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First Aid & Emergencies

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Nosebleeds Treatment

1. Stop the Bleeding

  • Have the person sit up straight and lean forward slightly. Don't have the person lie down or tilt the head backward.
  • With thumb and index finger, firmly pinch the nose just below the bone up against the face.
  • Apply pressure for 5 minutes. Time yourself with a clock.
  • If bleeding continues after 5 minutes, repeat the process.

2. Call a Health Care Provider

See a health care provider immediately if:

  • Nosebleed doesn't stop after 10 minutes of home treatment.
  • There is so much bleeding that it is hard to breathe.
  • The person is taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), fondaparinux sodium (Arixtra), or aspirin, or has a bleeding disorder.
  • Nosebleed happens after a severe head injury or a blow to the face.

 

3. Medical Treatment

  • The health care provider may use specialized cotton material, insert a balloon in the nose, or use a special electrical tool to cauterize the blood vessels.

4. Follow Up

  • Broken noses often are not fixed immediately. The health care provider will refer the person to a specialist for a consultation once the swelling goes down.
  • The person should avoid strenuous activity; bending over; and blowing, rubbing, or picking the nose until it heals.
  • The nostrils should be kept moist with a water-based lubricant or by increasing the humidity in the home.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 23, 2015

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