What Is the Best Way to Stop a Nosebleed?


Quick Answer

To stop a nosebleed, the patient should sit up straight with his head tilted slightly forward, explains WebMD. He should use his thumb and forefinger to pinch his nose shut for about 10 minutes. He may also apply an ice pack on the nose or cheeks to constrict his blood vessels.

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Full Answer

To stop nosebleeds, it is important to remain upright to reduce blood pressure on the veins in the nose, notes Mayo Clinic. This helps to stop the bleeding. Leaning forward prevents the patient from swallowing blood, which may irritate his stomach and cause him to vomit, according to WebMD.

The patient should breathe through his mouth while pinching his nose shut, states Mayo Clinic. The pinching sends pressure to the bleeding point on the septum and stops blood flow. After 10 minutes, the patient should check to see if his nose continues to bleed, reports WebMD. If the bleeding has not stopped, he should pinch it for an additional 10 minutes. Bleeding often stops after 10 to 20 minutes of direct pressure.

A water-based or saline-based nasal gel may also help to stop the bleeding, according to WebMD. After the bleeding has stopped, the patient should rest. He should seek emergency care if the nosebleed is the result of an accident or if it lasts for more than 20 minutes, explains Mayo Clinic. He should also contact his doctor if the nosebleeds become frequent or if his nose bleeds after taking blood thinners.

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