Whilst first aid measures are taking place, a history should be taken which should include the following:

  • Side, duration and approximation of amount of bleeding (see below)
  • History of trauma
  • Previous episodes and treatment
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection or rhinitis
  • The presence of bleeding or bruising elsewhere on the body
  • Other significant co-morbidities, particularly those which may affect coagulation (e.g. liver disease)
  • Medication, concentrating on drugs known to affect coagulation
  • Use of drugs of abuse, in particular cocaine
  • Alcohol history
  • In children, the child and parent should be asked about the possibility of a foreign body in the nose

Estimation of the severity of blood loss, either from the patient’s account and/or blood-stained clothing and towels, is notoriously unreliable.