How to treat a nosebleed
If you do not see our video content, you need to install an updated Flash Player.
The latest Flash Player is available for download @ adobe.com.
I'm Dr. Alan Greene and let's talk for a moment about nosebleeds and what to do about them. First, many parents panic a bit when they see a nosebleed in their child. Worried it may be something serious like leukemia. But in an otherwise healthy child without any other symptoms, nosebleeds are very common and generally not serious at all. It's usually caused by a little nick or drying out of blood vessels right in the surface of the nose. So what do you do about it? Do you tilt your head back? Do you apply ice to the nose?
Actually you treat it just like you would any other bleeding by applying direct pressure. And in the case of the nose the way you do it is pinch the nose shut like this, the sides against the middle, and hold it like that by the clock for 2 minutes. When you let go, often it will stop. If it's still bleeding, do that again but hold it for 5 minutes. Again, by the clock. It's a long time, the 5 minutes. But when you are done, almost all the time the nosebleed will be over with. If it's not, go ahead and give your doctor a call. They can give you some other instructions on what to do from there.
Last reviewed 9/18/2011 by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
- The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
- A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
- Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
- Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.