Stop a nosebleed by tilting the head forward and holding the nostrils together with the thumb and index finger for 10 minutes, according to WebMD. Avoid tilting the head back or swallowing any of the blood to keep from choking or vomiting during the nosebleed.
Serious nosebleeds might need to be stopped by a doctor. If the bleeding is coming from the front part of the nose, a doctor might use silver nitrate to seal the blood vessel if it is visible. Nasal packing can also be used to stop a nosebleed. During nasal packing, balloon packs, synthetic sponge packs or petroleum gauze may be placed inside the nose for one to three days to stop the bleeding from the inside, according to WebMD. Patients can go home after the procedure but need to see a doctor to remove the packing.
Nasal packing is also effective to treat bleeding coming from the back of the nose. However, patients need to be monitored and kept in the hospital after the procedure. In this case, the nasal packing stays in for two to three days. Surgery can be used to treat nosebleeds that do not stop after nasal packing, according to WebMD.