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hemorrhage from the nose, usually due to rupture of small vessels overlying the anterior part of the cartilaginous nasal septum. Minor bleeding may be caused by a blow on the nose, irritation from foreign bodies, or vigorous nose-blowing during a cold; sometimes it occurs in connection with menstruation. If bleeding persists in spite of first aid measures, medical attention is advisable. Called also nosebleed.

Sometimes nosebleed has serious underlying causes. Arteriosclerosis is a possible cause in the elderly. Polyps, other fleshy growths in the nose, food allergy, hypertension, vitamin deficiencies, or a disease producing a bleeding tendency may produce nosebleed. If the nose bleeds often or profusely, or if the bleeding is difficult to stop, a health care provider should be consulted.

Bleeding from the nose that does not originate in the nose itself is a serious indication that some damage has been done internally, either by injury or disease. Medical attention is necessary to trace the bleeding to its source. The blood probably originates in the stomach, the lungs, within the skull, or in passages related to these parts.

First Aid Measures: The victim should sit up with the head tilted forward to avoid aspiration of blood. The soft portion of the nose is grasped firmly between the thumb and forefinger, for 5 to 15 minutes. Once bleeding stops the patient should rest for an hour or so and for several hours should avoid stooping, lifting, or vigorously blowing the nose. If bleeding continues, a health care provider may have to pack the nose. Sometimes cauterization of the bleeding vessel is necessary. In some cases surgery to clip the vessels may be done. Blood loss from a nosebleed can be considerable and there is danger of hemorrhagic shock.


Bleeding from the nose.
[G. fr. epistazō, to bleed at the nose, fr. epi, on, + stazō, to fall in drops]


/ep·i·stax·is/ (-stak´sis) nosebleed; hemorrhage from the nose, usually due to rupture of small vessels overlying the anterior part of the cartilaginous nasal septum.


n. pl. epi·staxes (-stăk′sēz′)
A nosebleed.


Etymology: Gk, a dropping
bleeding from the nose caused by local irritation of mucous membranes, violent sneezing, fragility or manipulation of the mucous membrane, chronic infection, trauma, hypertension, coagulopathy, vitamin K deficiency, or, thrombocytopenia. Also called nosebleed.
observations Epistaxis may result from the rupture of tiny vessels in the anterior nasal septum. This occurs most frequently in early childhood and adolescence. In adults it occurs more commonly in men than in women; may be severe in elderly persons; may be accompanied by respiratory distress, apprehension, restlessness, vertigo, and nausea; and may lead to syncope.
interventions The patient suffering epistaxis is instructed to breathe through the mouth, to sit quietly with the head tilted slightly backward. The bleeding may be controlled by inserting a cotton ball soaked in a topical vasoconstrictor and applying pressure to the skin on both sides of the nose, occluding the blood supply to the nostrils; or by placing an ice compress over the nose. The nasal mucosa may be anesthetized with topical lidocaine, cauterized with a silver nitrate stick or an electrical cautery, and then sprayed with epinephrine. Severe bleeding, especially from the posterior nasal septum, may be treated by packing, which is left in place for 1 to 3 days. Persistent or recurrent profuse epistaxis may be treated by ligating an artery supplying the nose, such as the external carotid, ethmoid, or internal maxillary artery.


Medtalk → Vox populi Nosebleed


Profuse bleeding from the nose.
Synonym(s): nosebleed.
[G. fr. epistazō, to bleed at the nose, fr. epi, on, + stazō, to fall in drops]


Nose bleed.


The medical term for a nosebleed.
Mentioned in: Nasal Trauma, Nosebleed

epistaxis (e·p·stakˑ·sis),

n nosebleed; caused most commonly by picking but can occur as a result of vigorous sneezing, trauma, irritated mucous membranes, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, hypertension, and other conditions.


Bleeding from the nose.
[G. fr. epistazō, to bleed at the nose, fr. epi, on, + stazō, to fall in drops]


bleeding from the nose. This is usually from damaged vessels in the nasal mucosa but can also be due to an increased fragility of capillaries or bleeding tendencies, particularly thrombocytopenia. Injury may be due to erosion or ulceration of the mucosa by a systemic disease, e.g. glanders in the horse, or by a local disease of the mucosa, e.g. allergic rhinitis, trauma to the face or to the head generally, in which case the bleeding is likely to be due to a serious lesion, or to foreign bodies up the nose, a common cause.
Bleeding from the nose originating from sites other than the nasal mucosa is a common and serious occurrence in all species but particularly in the horse because of its implication for safety while racing. The passage of large amounts of blood suddenly is usually associated with pulmonary hemorrhage and is often fatal in horses and cattle. In horses this usually occurs during hard exercise. When the bleeding in the horse occurs at rest the origin is commonly from the guttural pouch and due to mycotic erosion of the blood vessels there. See also guttural pouch mycosis, pulmonary hemorrhage, caudal vena caval thrombosis, cranial vena caval thrombosis.
Enlarge picture
Epistaxis in a horse. By permission from Knottenbelt DC, Pascoe RR, Diseases and Disorders of the Horse, Saunders, 2003

Patient discussion about epistaxis

Q. Why do litlle kids' nose's begin to bleed?

A. A nose starts to bleed when one of the small veins in its lining bursts. This is usually caused by something completely harmless, such as the child picking their nose, blowing it too hard or having their nose knocked while playing. Another reason could be that the child has pushed something inside their nose. Some children have veins that are closer to the mucous membrane of their nose than other children. Because the veins are very close to the skin, they are more likely to burst when the child picks, blows or rubs their nose, or plays rough games.

Q. Hi this is Wilson; I have a daughter, who is 5. She has frequent nose bleeds when she is behaving badly. Hi this is Bell; I have a daughter, who is 5. She has frequent nose bleeds when she is behaving badly. She has been screened by her school for ADHD and I haven’t had a chance to consult a doctor for her screening and exam for ADHD. I thought that her nose bleeds cause due to her behavior? I need help.

A. I don’t have an idea about this. But I think that you should first discuss these issues with your doctor. Also mention to the doctor if she has any problems with sleeping, like only sleeping 6 hours a night. Try with occupational Therapists which help children and adults with small motor issues like handwriting and also with sensory issues like learning how to calm down. Early intervention is always best.

Q. My son often has severe nose bleeds. What if any illness' holds this symptom? They wake him in the night. My son has these terrible nose bleeds and I am sooo worried. I have no health insurance and would appreciate some info if anyone has any. Since he was about 4, now 12, he usually has them in the middle of the night. He does have allergies and takes over the counter allergy meds for seasonal allergies. He also has a heat lamp in his bedroom for his dragon. However; I never thought the lamp could cause this because they started 5 years before he had his dragon that uses the heat lamp. I am very worried it could be serious. Any info would be appreciated.

A. does it happen when the allergy attack occur? because it can cause nose bleeding. does he have a bleeding problem? when he get's a cut, how long it takes until the bleeding stops?
deviated septum in the nose can also cause...
but my nephew has seasonal allergies, and he bleed from his nose sometimes. so i guess it's common.

More discussions about epistaxis
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