Epistaxis (Nosebleed): What to do?
One of the most frightening sites for a parent is to see their child bleed from nose. But you can rest assure that in most cases it is not serious. Most of them can be treated at home.
It occurs due to bleeding from small vessels of nose. It happens as a result of break in the tissue lining of nose (mostly in front part or “anterior” of nose).
- Irritation and lack of moisture in the nasal membrane
- Dry air or warm air can lead to crusting of membrane inside nose and it may cause itching which can lead to scratching or nose picking. It in turn leads to bleeding.
- Allergic conditions and cold
- Repeated nose blowing
- Excessive use of antihistamines and Decongestant medicines can also lead to it.
- Serious causes: Head Injury
- Bleeding disorders
In some cases bleeding can occur from posterior part of nose which can be dangerous. It leads to flow of blood down the back of throat.
Frequent or long time bleeding if occurs; you should consult doctor.
What can be done at home?
- Do not Panic and remain Calm
- Make your child sit in your lap and tilt his or her head slightly forward.
- Gently pinch nose with clean cloth.
- Keep applying pressure on nose for about 10 minutes. If we stop too soon bleeding may start again
- If child is leaning back, it may cause blood to flow down the throat which may in turn cause gagging, coughing or vomiting.
- Discourage child to blow nose, picking, rubbing.
- Ice pack on forehead might help.
When to call doctor?
- Frequent nose bleed
- Long time duration of bleeding or difficult to control bleeding
- Foreign body in nose
- Bleeding from any other site as well
- Associated symptoms like fever, rashes etc
- Easy bruising tendency
- Medication: recently added or long term
Urgent Attention needed if:
- Bleeding is heavy
- Associated with weakness or dizziness
- Head injury or history of fall
- Bleeding continues after two attempts of applying pressure for 10 minutes each
- Avoid nose picking (Keep finger nails trimmed most of the time)
- Use saline nasal spray frequently during illness
- Vaporizer or steam helps
- Protective gears while playing or driving to prevent injury
Even after taking all the precautions, sometimes child starts bleeding without any obvious reason. So do not panic as most of them are harmless and can be stopped easily.
Discuss with your doctor (Child specialist/ ENT specialist) or contact us at Maya Clinic.
Dr Rahul Varma
” Healthy Kids, Happy Family”