Nosebleeds (epistaxis) in children are a common occurence. It is important when seeing a child with nosebleeds that a full history and careful examination should be udertaken. It is important that imporatant diagnosis such as a foreign body in the nose is excluded as well as any other serious pathology.
Commonly a small vein or an area of irritation from nose picking is the cause. It is quite common practice is to use naseptin ointment in the first instance. If it is evidently a small vein easily seen then it is sensible to cauterise this. It is very unusual to have to cauterise a childs nose under general anaesthesia this is most often done in the out-patient setting.
At home basic first aid should be employed. If this fails a child should be taken to the emergency department for further treatment and investigation
Nosebleeds also referred to as epistaxis are a common phenomenon. It occurs in all age groups, both sexes and thankfully most of the time is fairly self limiting. However, as an ENT surgeon I see the more troublesome end of the spectrum and always treat them seriously as every year in this country a few people die as a consequence of a nosebleed.
It is important to take a full history to look for any causes of a tendency or cause for nose bleeds. A careful examination of the nose is important to look for a cause.Occasionally blood tests are undertaken to look for a bleeding tendency and if there is a mass in the nose special XRays may be organised.
Treatment is dependant upon the cause. The commonest cause is related to bleeding from the nasal septum where there are some fragile blood vessels. These can be easily cauterised even in the younger age group. Occasionally nasal packing or even surgical intervention is required to stem a brisk nosebleed.
Patients should be seen for a significant nosebleed or recurrent nosebleeds.