John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
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.
In this Article
- What causes nosebleeds?
- How do you stop the common nosebleed?
- How do you prevent the nose from bleeding again?
- What precautions can you take to prevent nose bleeding?
- When should you call your doctor or go to an emergency room?
- What should I do if the doctor has placed nasal packs?
- Nosebleed At A Glance
What should I do if the doctor has placed nasal packs?
Nasal packs are used when less conservative measures fail (see previously). 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 does not remove them for several days. This requires a follow-up appointment with a health care professional.
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.
Patients with nosebleeds should not to take aspirin or any other blood thinning products. If patients are already taking these medications when the nosebleed is noticed, they should hotify their health care professional.
Nosebleed At A Glance
- Nosebleeds are common due to the location of the nose on the face, and the large amount of blood vessels in the nose.
- The most common causes of nosebleeds are drying of the nasal membranes and nose picking (digital trauma) and this can be prevented with proper lubrication of the nasal passages and not picking the nose.
- Most nosebleeds can be stopped at home.
- Consult a doctor for a nosebleed if bleeding cannot be stopped, there is a large amount of blood lost, or you feel weak or faint.
- A doctor may use nasal packs to stop nosebleeds when conservative measures fail.
- Do not take aspirin or other blood thinning products when you get a nosebleed (if they are doctor-prescribed, consult your doctor before stopping any medication).
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
UpToDate. Patient information: Nosebleeds (epistaxis) (Beyond the Basics).
NHS.uk. Nosebleeds in pregnancy.
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