Personal Protection

Having first ensured that appropriate resuscitative and first aid measures have been applied, further management begins by ensuring the clinician’s personal protection.

Epistaxis presents a particularly high risk of blood contamination due to bleeding directly into the airway, and, therefore, an increased likelihood of droplet spread. Practitioner contamination beyond gloves was found to occur in 55% of patients [26] and ocular contamination was found in up to 18% of cases [27].

Clinicians should therefore be equipped with a minimum of gloves, mask and visor.

Covering the patient’s mouth with a facemask will also ensure that any coughed or expectorated blood is caught [28].

Learning bite

Clinicians have been found to be contaminated with blood, beyond the gloves, in over half of patients treated with epistaxis.