Sit up straight and tip your head slightly
Note: Do not tilt
your head back. This may cause blood to run down the back of your throat, and
you may swallow it. Swallowed blood can irritate your stomach and cause
vomiting. And vomiting may make the bleeding worse or cause it to start again.
Spit out any blood that gathers in your mouth and throat rather than swallowing
Use your thumb and
forefinger to firmly pinch the soft part of your nose shut. The nose consists
of a hard, bony part and a softer part made of cartilage. Nosebleeds usually
occur in the soft part of the nose. Spraying the nose with a medicated nasal
spray (such as Afrin) before applying pressure may help stop a nosebleed. You
will have to breathe through your mouth.
Apply an ice pack to your
nose and cheeks. Cold will constrict the blood vessels and help stop the
Keep pinching for a full 10 minutes. Use a clock to time
the 10 minutes. It can seem like a long time. Resist the urge to peek after a
few minutes to see if your nose has stopped bleeding.
Check to see
if your nose is still bleeding after 10 minutes. If it is, hold it for 10 more
minutes. Most nosebleeds will stop after 10 to 20 minutes of direct
Put a light coating of a moisturizing ointment (such as
Vaseline) or an antiseptic nasal cream inside your nose. Do not blow your nose
or put anything else inside your nose for at least 12 hours after the bleeding
Rest quietly for a few hours.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.