Diseases & Conditions


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Nosebleed Blood


can flow from the nose for many reasons, most of which are not serious, but almost all children will have at least one nosebleed in their childhood. Preschoolers may have several benign nosebleeds a week, but they become much less common after puberty. In any case, the amount of blood lost from most nosebleeds is quite minor. The nose bleeds so readily because blood vessels in the nose are fragile and close to the surface and are very susceptible to minor trauma, cracking, and drying. Nosebleeds are also more common among those with nasal allergies or colds. A child who pokes a finger or a foreign object in the nose may likely trigger a bout of bleeding. A cold or nasal allergy also produces swelling and irritation in the nasal passages, making the nose more likely to bleed. Sneezing hard or blowing the nose, dry air, or irritating fumes all can cause a nosebleed. In young children, irritation from gastroesophageal reflux can trigger a bleed. Nosebleeds are more common in winter or in dry climates, when the dry air dries out the nasal passages. Treatment With proper treatment, a nosebleed usually lasts less than 10 minutes. The child should be kept quiet with head tilted forward as direct pressure is applied to the nose. In a child the caregiver should gently pinch the soft part of the child’s nose against the center, using a thumb and forefinger, and held in place for five to 10 minutes. If the bleeding has not yet stopped entirely, the procedure may be repeated once. In most cases the bleeding will have stopped, but if it does not, a physician should be contacted immediately. In an emergency a doctor can apply nose drops designed to constrict the blood vessels, or a special dressing to stop the bleeding. Prevention Because a moist nasal passage is less inclined to bleed, saline nose drops or a humidifier for the home can help prevent nosebleeds. Avoiding nosepicking, sneezing, and nasal congestion also can prevent some nosebleeds. If one blood vessel continually triggers nosebleeds, a doctor may try to cauterize it to prevent further bleeding.