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Stop a Nosebleed

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Updated June 27, 2014

While nosebleeds can be scary, especially for children, they are quite common and are rarely dangerous. There are many possible causes of nosebleeds which should be looked into if they occur frequently or fail to resolve with the following tips. Here are some steps to take to help stop a simple nosebleed at home should they occur.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. If it is available, use tissue or cloth to catch the blood.
  2. Sit or stand. The belief that you should lie down with your held tilted back is a myth and can lead to some complications.
  3. Gently pinch your nostrils together (below and to the side of the bony part of your nose) as you lean and tilt your head forward. Keep pressure for a full 10 minutes. Avoid the temptation to check to see if the bleeding has stopped, as this can cause the bleeding to reoccur.
  4. Applying a cold compress or ice wrapped in cloth across the bridge of your nose may also help.
  5. If bleeding still occurs after 10 minutes, repeat step 3. If bleeding still occurs after another 10 minutes (20 minutes total), see a physician.
  6. Avoid heavy lifting, blowing or picking your nose, or other activities that involve straining to prevent recurrence of the nosebleed for up to 24 hours after the nosebleed has stopped. Seek professional consultation if you have severe or recurrent nosebleeds, if you are taking medicines to thin the blood or block clotting or if you have a condition that puts you at a higher risk for serious bleeds of any kind (hemophilia and certain cancers for instance). Bleeds that do not respond to compression as instructed above require immediate emergency attention.

Tips:

  1. DO NOT blow your nose, as this may cause additional nosebleeds to start.
  2. DO NOT pack your nose with gauze or cotton balls (although nasal packing may be performed by a medical professional).
  3. Hydrogen peroxide can help remove blood from clothing.
  4. If you are unable to staunch the bleeding and you feel that the amount of blood is excessive, please go to your local emergency room or call 911 immediately.
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