How to Stop a Nose Bleeding

June 6, 2007

While it can be scary to see blood coming out of the nose, staying calm is very important. If you follow the steps below, you should be able to successfully stop a nose bleed.

Steps

During the Nose Bleed

Thumbs Up Method
1. Stay calm, slowly taking deep breaths.
2. With your hand (same hand as the bleeding nostril,) make a ‘thumbs up’ sign.
3. Press your thumb against your nostril’s side, not so hard that it hurts, but firmly enough to flatten the nostril.
4. Stay still, leaning forward slightly.
5. Stay in place for 5-10 minutes, breathing normally.
6. Slowly release the pressure; it may feel a bit weird as the blood flows back into your nasal vessels.

Pinching Method
1. Pinch your nose just below the bridge. There is a vein just below the nose bone that is the culprit in 99% of bloody noses. Pinching puts pressure on it, which arrests the bleeding and speeds the clotting process.
2. Find a bathroom as you continue pinching. Now that you have slowed the bleeding by pinching, you should find a bathroom where you can clean up once the bleeding has stopped.
3. Keep applying pressure for at least 5 minutes at a time. Don’t check to see if it is still bleeding over this period of time as it is important to keep continuous pressure. After this period of time let go briefly to see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, give it another 5 minutes. (This is also a good time to quickly wash any blood off your hands and get a paper towel or toilet paper to pinch with so that blood gets on the paper and not your hand.) If it is, continue pinching. Don’t check every 30 seconds, as the key is constant pressure.

Pressure Method
1. Find the two very slight depressions on the back of the skull, approximately four finger-widths from the base of the skull (in line with the tops of the ears) and four finger-widths from the mid-line of the back of the skull. If you had eyes in the back of your head, this is where they would be.
2. Press the spots firmly, but gently, and if you have connected correctly, the bleeding should stop immediately. Keep up the pressure for about five minutes and then release. If the bleeding starts again, just repeat the process, but hold it longer: you may have to keep up the pressure for ten to fifteen minutes to stop it completely.

Upper Lip Method
1. Roll up a piece of gauze or tissue into a “cigar shape” approximately 2 inches long and a little thicker than a pencil. Folding it into a small, thick square also works well.
2. Wedge the tissue under your upper lip where it’s tight and close your lip over it.
3. Apply light pressure by compressing your lip over the wad. Tilt your head forward.

Chemical Method (Please make sure these ingredients are safe for you. No Responsibility)
1. Mix equal parts of lemon juice, vinegar and salt. You only need a little.
2. Wipe any blood from your nose with a paper towel or tissue.
3. Carefully smell the mixture, from about 4 inches away. The fumes should stop the bleeding quickly. Remember, if you get dizzy, stop smelling the mixture.

Afrin Method (Please make sure these ingredients are safe for you. No Responsibility)
1. Spray nose four times in the bleeding nostril(s) with a decongestant spray such as Afrin or Neo-Synephrine. Decongenstant sprays such as these contain oxymetazoline nasal which constrict blood vessels and stop bleeding within seconds.
2. Do not use oxymetazoline nasal for longer than 3 to 5 days. Longer use could cause damage to your nasal tissue and lead to chronic congestion. If your symptoms do not improve, see your doctor.

After the Nose Bleed
1. Do not clean out your nose after the bleeding has stopped.
2. Clean up everything else. Your hands, your face, the sink–anything you dropped blood on needs to be cleaned.
3. Moisturize. If you have chap stick, moisturizer or Neosporin on hand, put a little of that in your nose to help healing and prevent it from bleeding again. A thin coating of petroleum jelly is simple and can be helpful to prevent nosebleeds due to dry air. If you are prone to bloody noses, it is a good idea to do this every morning to prevent bleeding, especially in dry weather.
4. Put an extra paper towel in your pocket just in case it starts to bleed again. If it doesn’t start for the next hour, you should be in the clear.
5. Avoid doing anything to cause your nose to bleed. Don’t blow your nose, pick your nose, or bump it if at all possible. Nose bleeds can be caused by accidents, but are more commonly caused by dry conditions, causing the nasal membranes to dry out and crack. While we don’t feel this, the end result is obvious.

Tips

· There are as many superstitious ways to to stop a nose bleed as there are to cure hiccups. Some other folk remedies:

o For severe nose bleeds (lasting longer than 5 minutes) you may need to hold an ice pack to your nose. This will constrict blood vessels, slowing the flow of blood.
o Keep a set of metal keys in the freezer in a ziplock baggie, and when a nose bleed starts, take them out of the freezer and hold to the back of your neck until the bleeding stops.
o Take a junior “light” tampon and push it a little ways into the nostril. It will soak up all the blood and when you stop bleeding, you can gently pull it out. While tampons are not considered sterile, they are generally low in bacteria count.
o Tear off a piece of paper towel or tissue and roll or wad it up. Place it about 2 cm (3/4 inch) into the nostril. Leave in for about 15 minutes. This allows one to quickly and simply get back to what one is doing while the blood has time to clot.

§ Put a little hydrogen peroxide on the rolled-up tissue. Insert it into the bleeding nostril and apply pressure for 5 minutes. You will feel some heat and a lot of fizzing. The released oxygen will accelerate the clotting of the blood.

o You can also apply pressure to the hollows next to the spine directly where it joins the skull, as this helps to keep the sinuses clear.
o A folk method that sometimes works is to lift one of the sufferer’s legs, take off their shoe, and smack the bottom of their foot several times. While it sounds rather odd, it sometimes actually works.
o Take an ice pack (or get someone else to get you one) and place it on the back of the neck. One of the main arteries that leads to your nose runs through your neck and the cold from the ice pack will cause the artery to contract, lessening the blood flow to the nose.

· If you get a lot of nose bleeds, talk to your doctor about getting your nose cauterized. This can greatly reduce them if not stop them all together.

· Use a saline nose spray during allergy season if you get frequent nose bleeds during this time.

· Breathe through your mouth during the nosebleed. Don’t try to inhale through your nose, it won’t be fun. Exhaling through your nose will encourage the nosebleed. To keep your mouth from drying out, put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

· To prevent problems in the future, raise the humidity level in your living quarters by using a humidifier. Most nosebleeds occur when nasal blood vessels become dry and cracked.

· Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth..this will help the drying up process by not allowing moisture to pass through the nose.

· During the dry months try eating spinach or cauliflower every other day. The vitamin K is supposed to help clotting. Some other foods with vitamin K are lettuce and swiss chard.

Warnings

· The “Pinching Method” is the only generally accepted medical practice for stopping epistaxis (nosebleeds).

· It is not recommended that you tilt your head back while suffering a nose bleed (contrary to popular belief). This allows blood to flow into the esophagus and poses a choking hazard, as well as causing blood to collect in the stomach. Too much swallowed blood will cause emesis (vomiting). Tilt forward instead.

· During a severe nosebleed, don’t be surprised if blood starts dripping from the corner of your eye next to your nose. The lacrimal duct there is connected to the nasal sinuses and blood can flow out of it during a bad nosebleed. However, if you have a nosebleed that severe, you should probably be seen in an emergency room.

· Nose bleeds can be very dangerous. If you start to feel dizzy or light headed, call an ambulance immediately, you may have lost a dangerous amount of blood.

· After the nose has stopped bleeding, drink water to help the process of replacing lost blood.

· Limit movement while pinching because you may accidentally pull on delicate nose vessels, aggravating the nosebleed.

Stay Safe….. Live Well…..

4 Responses to “How to Stop a Nose Bleeding”

  1. mike said

    This is very clear and great advice.

    It is winter and I swim a lot in public pools. The two together result in some nasty nose bleeds. I generally go by the pinch method but will now follow the advise and not be tempted to peak every now and then!

    The next bit is not for the squeamish. The last thing I usually need to do is sniff back and spit out the clot. It can be very large.

    Is this ok?

    • ethan said

      ewww you snort it back and spit it? just close the other nostril and blowwww. i know what you’re talking about. that’s what i do and it works fine.

  2. mansoorhabib said

    Well it can stop your bleeding but if you swallow that clot it can be dangerous so better avoid this method

  3. If you want to see a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed bits. Thank you, anyway!

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