Nosebleeds (epistaxis) are common in children. They are usually mild and easily treated. Sometimes bleeding can be more severe, but this is usually in older people, or in people with other medical problems such as blood disorders. Get medical help quickly if the bleeding is severe, or if it does not stop within 20-30 minutes.
The common site for a nosebleed to start is from just inside the entrance of the nostril, on the nasal septum (the middle harder part of the nostril). Here the blood vessels are quite fragile and can rupture easily for no apparent reason. This happens most commonly in children. This delicate area is also more likely to bleed with the following.
In the above situations, the bleeding tends to last only a short time and is usually easy to control. The bleeding may last longer and be harder to stop if you have: heart failure; a blood clotting disorder; are taking 'blood thinning' drugs (anticoagulants) such as warfarin or aspirin.
Bleeding sometimes comes from other areas further back in the nose. It is sometimes due to uncommon disorders of the nose, or to serious injuries to the nose.
For most nosebleeds, simple first aid can usually stop the bleeding.
Some people have recurring nosebleeds. They may not be heavy, and soon stop, but can become distressing. In this situation you may be referred to an Ear Nose and Throat unit. It is often possible to cauterise ('burn') the bleeding point. This is normally a minor procedure which is usually successful in stopping recurrent bleeds.
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