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Quick Facts: Epistaxis

Epistaxis is the term for a nose bleed. It may be spontaneous or caused from trauma. It has also been seen in chronic or acute infection, chemical irritation, leukemias, HTN, anticoagulant therapy and other blood dyscrasias.

In children, it tends to be mild and anterior in the nasal cavity.

In adults, it tends to be more severe and posterior.

While slight to moderate Epitaxis tends to have no complications, severe Epistaxis, lasting longer than 10 minutes after pressure is applied, may cause blood loss up to 1 liter per hour.

Nursing Care:

  • Have patient sit upright
  • Compress nares against septum for 5-10 minutes
  • Avoid nose blowing or sneezing
  • If unable to control bleeding, be ready to assist MD, PA, or NP with anterior or posterior packing. WATCH AND OBSERVE FOR AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION WITH PACKING.



Anna C. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN Anna began writing extra materials to help her BSN and LVN students with their studies. She takes the topics that the students are learning and expands on them to try to help with their understanding of the nursing process. She is a clinical instructor for LVN and BSN students along with a critical care transport nurse.

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