First Aid for Severe Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are common and usually aren't serious. But sometimes a nosebleed is a sign of a more serious problem. If you have a nosebleed and any of these signs occur, seek medical attention right away:

purple or dark blood

severe pain in your head, neck, or face that doesn't get better with over-the-counter pain medicine

bleeding from the mouth or gums (you might see traces of blood on your toothbrush)

blood in urine or stool - it may be mixed with mucus (use toilet paper to wipe yourself clean after going #2)

Sit the person down.

  • Take a break if you can, but don't move around too much.
  • How much blood you lose is determined by how quickly your nosebleed stops, so try not to move around too much or get up until the bleeding has stopped completely.

You may need someone else's help if your nosebleed won't stop on its own and you're losing a lot of blood.

It's important that they keep pressure on both sides of your face until paramedics arrive.

If your nosebleed won't stop, call 911 and get medical attention immediately. If you are bleeding from something other than your nose, such as a cut or gash on your skin, clean it with soap and water to prevent infection.

If you can, stop the bleeding with a nasal tampon or a cotton ball held in place with a bandage.

If you don't have access to either of these items, use your fingers and make sure that they are clean and dry.

  • Use a bandage to hold the tampon in place.

If you can't stop the bleeding, call 911 immediately. The most important thing to do after calling 911 is to help them sit upright (if possible) and apply pressure on their nose with one hand while keeping their head above their heart level with the other hand until help arrives or until they feel better enough not needing any more assistance from you.

Do not tilt your head back for too long; this will increase pressure on internal blood vessels which may cause additional bleeding inside your brain.

Use water to clean the nostrils and around the outside of the nose.

  • Use warm water, not hot water.
  • If you don't have a basin or cup, put the person in a sitting position to prevent blood from flowing down the throat. This will also make it easier for you to clean around the nose and nostrils without getting any blood on yourself.
  • Gently wipe away any dried blood stuck around their nostrils with a clean cloth or towel (you might want to use gloves). Make sure that all of this material is cleared away before applying pressure with another cloth or towel soaked in cold water (this helps stop bleeding by constricting blood vessels).

Look inside the nose for any foreign objects like small toys, pins, etc that may be causing the bleeding.

If you suspect there is an object causing the bleeding, look inside the nose with a flashlight. If you can see any foreign objects, remove them carefully with tweezers or another sharp instrument. Do not try to pick your friend's nose; it may cause more damage and make it harder to stop the bleeding.

If there are no visible signs of injury or trauma and the person still has severe nosebleeds, call 911 immediately because this may indicate that they have a more serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.

If you can't stop the bleeding, call 911 immediately! A severe nosebleed can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

If you have already called 911 and are waiting for help to arrive, do not hang up until they arrive.

If you have a severe nosebleed and need to go to the hospital, follow these instructions:

  • Stop the bleeding by pinching your nose closed with one hand while blowing gently through both nostrils with your mouth open wide enough so that air goes through both sides of your nose (don't suck in any blood). You may also put ice packs on both sides of your face or apply pressure for about 10 minutes at a time until the bleeding stops completely before removing them again later when everything has dried up completely.
  • Be sure not to breathe through your mouth; instead, use some kind of tissue paper rolled up into a shape like an accordion tube between two fingers while holding onto its ends tightly while pressing down firmly against each nostril separately so as not to let any drops escape during this process.
  • Do not lie down flat on back after applying pressure until the bleeding stops completely because doing so could cause serious complications such as brain damage due to lack oxygen supply caused by swelling inside brain cavity after excessive bleeding occurred during surgery performed afterward if left untreated properly during initial stages when symptoms first started showing signs indicating potential threat levels were rising rapidly


We hope this article has been helpful to you and your family. If you ever have a severe nosebleed, we recommend calling 911 immediately. It is important that you don't try to stop the bleeding yourself unless there is no other option--and even then, only after following our steps above!


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