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Home :: First Aid

Nosebleeds

 

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Nosebleeds are rarely serious and most commonly occur either after a blow to the nose, as part of an infection such as the common cold, or as a consequence of picking or blowing the nose. Occasionally, frequent nosebleeds may be a result of high blood pressure or a sign of a weak blood vessel inside the nose that ruptures spontaneously from time to time. Normally, nosebleeds are simply inconvenient and unpleasant, but occasionally they can be dangerous if bleeding is prolonged, as the casualty can suffer considerable blood loss perhaps resulting in shock. If the blood coming from the nose appears thin and watery, summon medical help immediately, as this may indicate fluid leakage from around the brain as a result of head or facial injury.

To treat a nosebleed

1. Seat the casualty comfortably with the head forward. Do not tip the head back in an attempt to stop bleeding, as the casualty will be forced to swallow the blood as it trickles down the back of his or her throat, which may cause vomiting.

2. Pinch the casualty's nose just beneath the bridge and ask him or her to breathe through the mouth.

3. Ask the casualty not to speak, sniff or swallow if possible as this may hinder clots from forming.

4. Apply pressure for a full 10 minutes in the first instance. If bleeding persists, apply a further 10 minutes' pressure. If bleeding has not ceased completely within 30 minutes, consult a doctor immediately or take the casualty to the nearest accident and emergency unit. The casualty should remain in the treatment position while traveling.

5 If bleeding stops, clean gently around the nose with cut On wool or a swab soaked in warm water. Ask the casualty not to blow his or her nose for at least four hours and to rest quietly to avoid dislodging the clot