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Epistaxis is a nosebleed. A nosebleed occurs when the blood vessels near the surface of the nasal cavity are injured or damaged.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


Cautery treatment may cause an opening in your nasal septum. The septum is the thin wall in the middle of your nose that separates your nostrils. Nasal packs may cause discomfort or damage to nasal tissues. They may increase bleeding, make it difficult to breath, or lead to a serious infection. Without treatment, your nose may continue to bleed. You may have trouble breathing or you could lose a lot of blood. This can be life-threatening.



  • Vasoconstrictor: Caregivers may apply this medicine into the inside of your nose or to the nasal packing. A vasoconstrictor helps make the blood vessels narrower to control the bleeding. This also decreases the swelling inside your nose and helps you breathe easier.
  • Sedation: You may need sedation if you have nasal packing or other treatments that are uncomfortable.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Blood pressure medicine: This is given to lower your blood pressure. A controlled blood pressure helps protect your organs, such as your heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. Take your blood pressure medicine exactly as directed.


  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
  • A CT , or CAT scan, takes pictures of your skull and brain. You may be given contrast liquid before the scan. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • An MRI of the head takes pictures of your brain, blood vessels, and skull. You may be given contrast liquid to help the pictures show up better. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell a healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.


  • Nasal packing: Your caregiver may pack your nose with a cotton plug, tampon, or gauze bandage to control bleeding.
  • Cautery: Your caregiver uses an electrical device or a chemical to seal the injured blood vessels. This may be done to stop bleeding or to prevent more bleeding.
  • Balloon device: A balloon device may be placed at the back of your nose to stop the bleeding.
  • Embolization: A blocking agent is injected into the bleeding vessel to stop the blood flow.
  • Surgery: You may need surgery to tie an artery if the bleeding does not stop. Surgery may also be needed to correct a deformity or fix damaged tissues in the nose. Blood clots in the nose may also be removed to prevent infection. Injury to the other parts of the nose, nerves, or blood vessels may also be treated with surgery.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Epistaxis (Inpatient Care)

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