Stopping Nose Bleeds?

It is very common when conducting a first aid class for us to get the wrong treatment suggested to help stop a nosebleed. For example, put butter on the nose, put your finger up there or even rub your left foot. The big one that we always get is tilt your head backwards! This seems to be the Hollywood way of dealing with a nose bleed, but this is something you do not do!

This might not be our most in depth blog, but it is an important one to get right. Nose bleeds are common place and can be brought on anytime of the day or night, but typically happen by direct blows to the nose, sneezing too heavily or even changes in temperature. They are not normally a sign of anything serious and can usually be treated quite easily at home. We will explain the important things to look out for, but first, we will give you the main treatment bullet points.

  • Ask the casualty to sit down and lean them forward at the waist. Have a bowl or lots of tissue underneath to catch the excess blood.
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose, just above the fleshy bit. Can also be called the bridge of the nose.
  • Apply pressure for 10 minutes and release slowly. The main thing to remember here, is that many people hold the pressure until the blood stops and then remove too quickly. This can result in the clot which is forming ‘popping’ and blood beginning to flow again. So, 10 minutes really does mean 10 minutes. It is uncomfortable but necessary.
  • If you are unable to stop the bleeding after 10 minutes, as them to repeat the process for a further 10 minutes.
  • Make sure you make them aware that rubbing or blowing their nose may encourage more blood flow, so try and discourage this as much as you can.

Things to remember!

If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 30 minutes, then you need to seek medical advice. This could be calling 101 or seeking further advice from your doctor. If the blood is watery, it could suggest a head injury, and this is a potentially serious problem. So, consider how the nose bleed started when starting your treatment.

Not many people will die from a nose bleed, but you can lose a little bit of blood. This can result in the patient feeling faint or maybe a little sick. You may see that they lose a little colour from their face. Our little tip to help you remember to lie the person down is ‘if they are pale, raise their tail’. Tail in this scenario is the persons legs, they do not have to be raised a lot but just enough to help balance out the persons blood pressure and also make sure that if they were to faint they are not going to injure themselves.


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