Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Nosebleed (for Teenagers)
Nosebleeds (epistaxis) are very common. They are usually
caused by dryness of the nasal lining plus the normal
rubbing and picking that most people do when the nose
becomes blocked or itchy. Vigorous nose blowing can also
cause bleeding. People who have nasal allergies are more
likely to have nosebleeds because they rub and blow their
- Stopping the bleeding
- Lean forward and spit out any blood. Sit up and lean
forward so you don't have to swallow the blood. Have
a basin available so you can spit out any blood that
drains into your throat. Swallowed blood is
irritating to the stomach and can cause nausea or
- Apply pressure by squeezing the soft part of the
nose. First blow your nose to free any large clots
that might interfere with applying pressure. Then
tightly pinch the soft parts of the nose against the
center wall for 10 minutes. Don't release the
pressure until 10 minutes are up. If the bleeding
continues, you may not be pressing on the right spot.
During this time, you will have to breathe through
- If bleeding continues, use vasoconstrictor nosedrops
and squeeze again. If the nosebleed hasn't stopped,
insert a gauze covered with vasoconstrictor nosedrops
(for example, Neo-Synephrine) or petroleum jelly into
the nostril. Squeeze again for 10 minutes. Leave the
gauze in for another 10 minutes before you remove it.
If bleeding persists, call your physician but
continue the pressure in the meantime.
- A small amount of petroleum jelly applied twice a day
to the center wall inside the nose (the septum) often
helps relieve dryness and irritation.
- Increasing the humidity in your room at night by
using a humidifier may also be helpful.
- Get into the habit of putting two or three drops of
warm water in each nostril before blowing a stuffy
- Avoid aspirin. One aspirin can increase the tendency
of the body to bleed easily for up to a week and can
make nosebleeds last much longer.
- If you have nasal allergies, treating allergic
symptoms with antihistamines will help break the
- Common mistakes in treating nosebleed
- A cold washcloth applied to the forehead, bridge of
the nose, back of the neck, or under the upper lip
does not help stop nosebleeds.
- Pressing on the bony part of the nose does not help
- Try to avoid packing the nose with anything because
when it is removed, the nose usually starts bleeding
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- The bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes of direct
pressure on the nose.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- Nosebleeds are a frequent problem even after petroleum
jelly and humidification are used.
- You have other concerns or questions.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems