Nosebleeds are usually harmless but can be dangerous if the casualty loses a lot of blood. Nosebleeds commonly occur when tiny blood vessels in the nose become ruptured. This can happen as a result of sneezing or blowing the nose, or can happen after a blow to the nose. High blood pressure can also cause nosebleeds. Nosebleeds which occur after a head injury may appear thin and watery – this is a sign of skull fracture and fluid leaking from around the brain.
When treating nosebleeds, you need to maintain an open airway whilst controlling blood loss. You should ask the casualty to sit down and tilt their head forwards, to help drain blood from nostrils. Ask them to breathe through their mouth as they pinch their nose at the soft part. Provide reassurance as they keep pinching and advise them to avoid spitting, sniffing, swallowing or speaking as this could disturb blood clots that have formed. Ask them to continue holding their nose for 10 minutes, then release the pressure. If bleeding hasn’t stopped, have them repeat these two periods of 10 minutes. After bleeding has stopped, clean around the nose with lukewarm water. Let them rest quietly and avoid exertion and blowing their nose as this could disturb blood clots.
When treating nosebleeds, don’t let the casualty tip their head back as blood could run down their throat, making them vomit. If a nosebleed lasts for longer than 30 minutes or is severe, take them to hospital.
Injured after a nosebleed?
If you have been left ill or injured after a nosebleed, you may be able to claim compensation. For example, if somebody has recommended you tip your head back to make the blood flow stop, this could make you sick, which could make a nosebleed worse and cause you to lose a lot of blood. If negligence has occurred and somebody else is responsible, contact a personal injury lawyer to find out if you could claim compensation. The amount you receive will take into account your pain and suffering, any loss of earnings due to time off work and the cost of any medical treatment needed.
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