Epistaxis is a common presentation to the emergency department (ED). It accounts for approximately 1 in 200 visits,[1] with a UK rate of ED attendance of around 100 per 100 000 population served by the department. [2]

It is likely that a large percentage of ED presentations could be avoided by appropriate use of first aid techniques. However, surveys of the general public and those at particular risk (patients taking anticoagulant medication) have shown a clear lack of knowledge in these techniques. [3-5] Unfortunately, this is compounded by a lack of:

  • First aid knowledge [6]
  • Provision of basic equipment
  • Specific epistaxis teaching [7] amongst ED staff

A co-operative and well defined management strategy can, however, result in 85% of patients with epistaxis being successfully managed by Emergency Physicians without specialist input or admission. [8]

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very useful module with practical steps for management of epistaxis.

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