November 14, 2018
Nose bleeds are very common in children; they are annoying but rarely serious. The bleed comes from a burst blood vessel at the front part of the nasal septum (the wall of cartilage between the two nostrils) so it can easily be stopped by pinching the front of the nose for 5 minutes. After doing this apply Vaseline into the affected nostril for a few weeks allows the blood vessels to heal.
Only rarely does the nose bleed also need to be chemically shriveled with sliver nitrate. This is done by using a medical “match stick” coated with the silver nitrate and touched onto the blood vessel.
In adults it can be much more serious as it is often difficult to stop and may rarely be caused by significant diseases.
The reason it is more difficult to stop is because the burst blood vessel is often located far back in the nose, thus pinching the nose does not work so well.
In this situation the best thing to do is to remain calm, pinch the nose, put an ice-cold pack over the nose and suck ice cubes. If it does not stop then you need to see either your GP or go to the local hospital.
If sliver nitrate does not work, or there is too much blood, then the nose may need to be packed with an expandable sponge.
It is important to look for a cause of the nose bleed in an adult. Most of the time it remains unknown but sometimes it is due to high blood pressure, or being on blood thinning medicines such as warfarin or aspirin. Very rarely it is due to tumours of the sinuses.