Quick Facts: Epistaxis

Last updated on April 27th, 2015 at 08:48 pm

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.


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Anna Curran. RN, BSN, PHN

Anna Curran. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN I am a Critical Care ER nurse. I have been in this field for over 30 years. I also began teaching BSN and LVN students and found that by writing additional study guides helped their knowledge base, especially when it was time to take the NCLEX examinations.

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