ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to deal with a nosebleed

Never advise someone with a nosebleed to tilt their head back
Never advise someone with a nosebleed to tilt their head back

St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity has teamed up with the Herald and Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips – this week: learn how to deal with a nosebleed.

A nosebleed most commonly happens when tiny blood vessels in the nose are ruptured.

This can be caused by a blow to the nose, sneezing, blowing or picking the nose.

Nosebleeds might also be caused by high blood pressure and anti-clotting medication.

A nosebleed can be serious if the casualty loses a lot of blood and, especially for children, can be very frightening.

Follow these simple steps to help someone who has a nosebleed:

• Advise the casualty to sit down and tilt the head forward to allow the blood to drain from the nostrils. The casualty should breathe through the mouth and pinch the soft part of the nose for around ten minutes.

• Advise the casualty not to speak, cough, sniff or spit as this might disturb blood clots forming in the nose.

• After ten minutes, tell the casualty to gently release the pressure. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, reapply pressure for another ten minutes.

• Once the bleeding has stopped and with the head still tilted forwards, clean around the nose with clean, lukewarm water and advise the casualty to avoid any exertion for a few hours and not to blow the nose as this could disturb blood clots.

• If the nosebleed is severe or last longer than 30 minutes, arrange to take or send the casualty to hospital.

Never advise a casualty to tilt their head back as this could cause blood to run down the throat and cause vomiting.

• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website {http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/default.aspx |(www.sja.org.uk)|www.sja.org.uk} offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

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