• Nosebleeds

    Falling or getting hit in the nose can result in a nosebleed. Other, nontraumatic causes of nosebleeds include breathing dry air and changes in altitude. Certain medical conditions (such as hypertension, or high blood pressure) and the use of certain medications (such as blood thinners) can make a person more susceptible to nosebleeds.

    In most cases, you can stop a nosebleed by having the person pinch his or her nostrils together while sitting with his or her head slightly forward.

    Emergency Steps


    Check the scene safety, form an initial impression, obtain consent and put on PPE, as appropriate.


    Check for signs and symptoms.

    • Blood volume equal to about half a soda can* (less in children)
    • Blood flowing continuously or spurting from nose*
    • Bleeding from one or both nostrils

    *Note: Signs and symptoms with a * require immediate emergency medical treatment.


    Call 9-1-1 and get equipment if the person requires immediate emergency medical treatment.


    Give Care.

    General Care: Nosebleeds

    1. Have the person pinch their nostrils together while sitting with their head slightly forward.
    2. Keep the nostrils pinched shut for at least 5 minutes.
    3. After 5 minutes, check to see if the bleeding has stopped.
      1. If the bleeding has not stopped, keep pinching the nostrils shut for another 5 minutes.
      2. If the bleeding is severe or gushing, call 9-1-1.
    4. Continue checking them as appropriate to determine if additional care is needed.
    5. Keep person from getting cold or overheated.
    6. Give care for shock, if necessary.
    7. Reassure person you will help and that EMS has been called (if appropriate).
    8. Watch for changes in condition, including breathing and responsiveness, and give care as appropriate and trained.

    Nosebleeds FAQs

    What can cause a nose injury or nosebleed?

    Causes may include:

    • Fall or hit to the nose
    • Dry air conditions
    • Changes in altitude
    • Medical conditions such as high blood pressure
    • Medications such as blood thinners

    Why is it important to have the person with a nosebleed have their head slightly forward?

    This position keeps blood from pooling in the back of the throat, which can lead to choking or vomiting on blood.

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