Epistaxsis (Nose Bleeds)

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-230/2023
  • Departments: ENT
  • Last Updated: 28 April 2023


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your condition.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is Epistaxsis?

Epistaxis is the medical name for nose bleeds.

What do I need to do to help stop my epistaxsis, if it happens at home?

  • Pinch your nose on the soft part of the nose and hold firmly for 10 to 20 minutes without letting go.
  • Bend forward and spit out any blood that gets into your mouth. You must not swallow it as this can upset your stomach and lead to vomiting.
  • If the bleeding continues after 20 minutes or you have lost a lot of blood, seek medical advice via the nearest Emergency Department.

Can there be any complications or risks?

  • If the bleeding continues it can lead to anaemia, which means you will feel faint or weak.
  • If the bleeding continues it could also mean that you may have high blood pressure
  • In both cases you will need to see a doctor.

What treatments are available?

  • Nasal cautery by the ENT The technique of cauterisation is a medical term which means burning.  The term cautery refers to the process of caurerisation.  Nasal cautery is where blood vessels in your nose are cauterised in order to prevent bleeding.
  • Nasal packing by the ENT doctor. Nasal packing is the application of gauze or cotton packs to inside the nasal chambers of your nose.
  • Nasal creams prescribed by a doctor.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the ENT, Head and Neck Department (01482) 468380.

This leaflet was produced by the ENT, Head and Neck Department, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in April 2026.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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