TIPS FOR MANAGING NOSEBLEEDS
Patients on anticoagulationmayhave an increasein the frequency ofnosebleeds duringthe colder wintermonths. Contributingfactors are more upper respiratoryinfections, as well as temperature andhumidity fluctuations. In addition,changes from a cold outside environmentto a warm, dry, heated home canresult in changes in the nose which willmake it more susceptible to bleeding.
Most people who develop nosebleedscan handle the problem without seekingmedical advice. Tips for controlling nosebleedsinclude:
- Pinch the nose together betweenthe thumb and index finger and holdfor at least 5 minutes. Repeat asneeded until bleeding stops.
- Sit quietly, keeping the head higherthan the level of the heart. Do notlie flat or put your head betweenyour legs.
- Apply ice (crushed in a plasticbag or washcloth) to nose andcheeks
If the nosebleed does not stop or ifblood loss is significant, patientsshould be directed to the emergencydepartment for further management.
Patients with recurrent nosebleedsmay require evaluation by an ear,nose, and throat specialist.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacistpractitioner at Cornerstone HealthCare in High Point, NC.