Nose Bleed (Epistaxis) is a common problem - in children as well as the elderly.
In children Nose Bleeds are usually related to Trauma, Nose picking, Nasal Crust formation, and rarely because of a Nasal tumour - Juvenile Nasal Angiofibroma (male children).
In the elderly, apart from nose picking and nasal infections, bleeding is sometimes caused on account of Hypertension, or because of medication like Blood Thinners that some elderly persons need to take.
The 3 things that you need to do to stop a nose bleed
1. Sit upright on a chair, leaning forward - there is a tendency to make the patient lie down- avoid this - lying down will make the blood trickle to the back of the throat causing choking. This blood can then also trickle into your stomach to cause nausea and retching subsequently.
2. Pinch the nostril - For the most part nose bleeds are from capillaries and simple pressure on the nostril is enough to stop the bleed. For how long should you do this? There is a science behind that also - normal clotting time in the human body is from 5-7 minutes. By that time the Clotting Factors in the body form a clot and prevent further bleeding. To be on the safe side pinching from 7-10 minutes is sufficient.
3. Apply ice - Where? Surprisingly, research shows us that the best place to apply ice is to Suck on it! Yes - sucking on ice constricts the blood vessels and reduces bleeding.
Apart from these 3 activities, it is important to reassure the patient - "all will be ok" - distress and panic caused by a nose bleed can raise your blood pressure, worsening the bleed.
On the other hand there is also a sense of complacency regarding nose bleeds, specially in the case of children - though it is understood that infrequent trivial nosebleed may be ignored, recurrent nosebleeds or a single nose bleed in which a significant amount of blood has been lost should not be ignored - kindly consult your nearest ENT Specialist for an evaluation.