Q:

What happens if a person swallows too much blood?

A:

Quick Answer

If a person swallows too much blood, he or she may choke, cough or start vomiting. Swallowing blood normally takes place when a person is experiencing a nosebleed, which may be brought about by a number of reasons.

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Full Answer

When people experience nosebleeds, it is common for most to swallow the blood. However, it is not a good idea to do so, since this could lead to a number of complications. Swallowing blood may lead to nausea, choking or coughing.

People may experience nosebleeds because of high blood pressure, picking the nose with sharp fingernails, minor injuries to the nose, blowing the nose hard, dry nose due to hot weather and excessive use of nasal decongestants. Nosebleeds accounted for four out of 2.4 million deaths in the United States in 1999, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control report released in 2001.

While it may seem scary to those experiencing it, nosebleeds are rarely dangerous and can be stopped at home through simple procedures. The first thing to be done is to get a damp piece of cloth or tissue to catch the blood coming out of the nose. Ensuring that the head is elevated above the heart will help reduce the amount of blood coming out of the nose. After doing this, gently pinching the soft part of the nose will eventually stop the nosebleed. If the nosebleed continues after this procedure, seeking help from a nearby health facility may help.

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