Nosebleeds

Though they are not usually serious, nosebleeds can be very alarming. Most nosebleeds occur when blood vessels in the nasal passage rupture. Because children's nasal blood vessels are more delicate, they are more susceptible to nosebleeds than adults.

  1. Have the person with the nosebleed sit down and lean forward so the blood does not flow down their respiratory passage.
  2. Press a tissue or cold compress against the nostrils below the bone to encourage clotting.
  3. Have the person with the nosebleed keep his or her nostrils pinched together for 15 minutes without releasing.
  4. Replace the tissue or compress with a new one if it becomes soaked with blood.
  5. Remove the tissue or compress slowly. If bleeding persists, continue pinching the nose for another 5 minutes.
  6. After bleeding stops, wash away any blood with warm water. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly inside the nostrils to moisturize the area.
  7. Make sure the person does not sniff or blow their nose for several hours afterward, as this could cause another nosebleed.
  8. If the nosebleed originates in the back of the nose and does not respond to treatment, seek medical attention. This type of nosebleed, called a "posterior" nosebleed, is common in older people and potentially very serious.
  9. If bleeding does not stop, or if the patient is weak, pale or experiencing an elevated heart rate, contact your doctor immediately. Keep the patient leaning forward with the nose pinched on the way to the doctor's office or hospital.