Nosebleeds Common But Seldom Serious, Study Finds

Posted on October 21, 2013

Fewer than one in 10 people hospitalized for an unexplained nosebleed requires invasive treatment to stop the bleeding, a review of nationwide data has found.

About 38 percent of people with nosebleeds so bad they are admitted to the hospital wind up having their nosebleed resolved with little or no treatment, according to the study published online Oct. 17 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

Clinicians successfully treated another 53 percent of nosebleed patients either by stuffing the nose with cotton or by cauterizing a broken blood vessel using heat, electricity or chemicals.

Only about 8 percent of hospitalized nosebleed patients needed treatment through surgery or by embolization, a process in which doctors seal off the bleeding vessel from within, the researchers found.

The small minority of patients who needed invasive treatment faced increased risk and expense, the data showed. For example, the odds of patients suffering a stroke following embolization were significantly higher than in patients who were treated by packing their nose with cotton.

Read more at: MedlinePlus