Liberal Arts Blog — Epistaxis (nosebleeds)

Liberal Arts Blog — Wednesday is the Joy of Science, Engineering, and Technology Day

Today’s Topic — Epistaxis (nosebleeds) — what’s the science? what do you do? what should all children be taught? when?

Toward the front of the nasal sinus, four arteries come together to form Kiesselbach’s “plexus” (i.e. network of blood vessels also called an “anastomosis”). This area is very sensitive to trauma (eg. nose picking or a knuckle punch) because the vessels are very near the surface. Causes of epistaxis (nosebleeds) include dry air, cocaine use, alcohol abuse, hypertension, and renal insufficiency. Preventive measures include the use of humidifiers and saline gels. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. Lie down.

2. Raise the arm opposite the nostril affected.

3. Stay perfectly still.

TWENTY YEARS LATER — don’t lie down!

1. Pinch the soft part of your nose with your fingers just below the bridge.

2. Sit. Don’t lie down. Bend forward slightly to prevent blood going down your throat.

3. Hold for 15 to 30 minutes.

THIRTY YEARS LATER: nose clips and Afrin

1. Be prepared.

2. Have a plastic clamp handy. Apply it just below the nasal bridge. Be still for 15–30 minutes.

3. Have some “Afrin” ready. Afrin is the brand name for a nasal spray (oxymetazoline) which constricts blood vessels in the nose.



(3) Pack Nasal Compression Clips Epistaxis Care

Nosebleed (Epistaxis) Management and Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Science for kids — Nose Bleeds | Operation Ouch | Experiments for kids

Why Do We Get Nosebleeds?

Kiesselbach’s plexus


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