Steps for stop­ping, pre­vent­ing nose­bleeds

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Most nose­bleeds aren’t se­ri­ous and will stop on their own or by fol­low­ing self-care steps.

WHEN IT IS SE­RI­OUS

You should seek emer­gency med­i­cal care if nose­bleeds:

Fol­low an in­jury, such as a car ac­ci­dent.

●In­volve a greater than

ex­pected amount of blood.

●In­ter­fere with breath­ing.

● Last longer than 30 min­utes even with com­pres­sion.

●Oc­cur in chil­dren younger than age 2.

Don’t drive your­self to an emer­gency room if you’re los­ing a lot of blood. Call 911 or your lo­cal emer­gency num­ber or have some­one drive you.

Talk to your health care provider if you’re hav­ing fre­quent nose­bleeds, even if you can stop them fairly eas­ily. It’s im­por­tant to de­ter­mine the cause of fre­quent nose­bleeds.

OC­CA­SIONAL NOSE­BLEEDS

Some self-care steps for the oc­ca­sional nose­bleed in­clude:

Sit up­right and lean for­ward: By re­main­ing up­right, you re­duce blood pres­sure in the veins of your nose. This dis­cour­ages fur­ther bleed­ing. Sit­ting for­ward will help you avoid swal­low­ing blood, which can ir­ri­tate your stom­ach. Gen­tly blow your nose to clear out any clot­ted blood. Spray a nasal decongestant in the nose.

Pinch your nose: Use your thumb and in­dex fin­ger to pinch both nos­trils shut, even if only one side is bleed­ing. Breathe through your mouth. Con­tinue to pinch for five to 10 min­utes. This ma­neu­ver puts pres­sure on the bleed­ing point on the nasal sep­tum and of­ten stops the flow of blood. Re­peat.

If the bleed­ing doesn’t stop, re­peat these steps for up to a to­tal of 15 min­utes. After the bleed­ing has stopped, to keep it from start­ing again, don’t pick or blow your nose and don’t bend down for sev­eral hours.

Keep your head higher than the level of your heart.

PRE­VEN­TION

Tips to help pre­vent nose­bleeds in­clude:

Keep­ing the lin­ing of the nose moist: Es­pe­cially dur­ing colder months when air is dry, ap­ply a thin, light coat­ing of pe­tro­leum jelly (Vaseline) or an­tibi­otic oint­ment (bac­i­tracin, Neosporin) with a cot­ton swab three times a day. Saline nasal spray also can help moisten dry nasal mem­branes.

Trim­ming your child’s fin­ger­nails: Keep­ing fin­ger­nails short helps dis­cour­age nose pick­ing.

Us­ing a hu­mid­i­fier: A hu­mid­i­fier will coun­ter­act the ef­fects of dry air by adding mois­ture to the air.

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