If you have a nosebleed:
- lean forward and firmly pinch the nose below the bridge (the bony part), for 10 minutes non-stop
- then let go and see if the bleeding has stopped
- don’t tilt your head backwards as the blood may go down your throat into your stomach – this can make you feel sick
- breathe through your mouth and spit out any blood that enters your mouth
- you can put an ice pack on your forehead and the back of your neck and suck on ice cubes.
When the bleeding has stopped:
- try not to pick or blow your nose, even if it feels uncomfortable, as this may cause another nosebleed
- avoid any strenuous activity, such as playing sports, for 24 hours after the bleeding has stopped
- don’t pack the nostrils with tissues or cotton wool.
If bleeding starts again, repeat the advice above.
If a nosebleed is very heavy and does not stop after 15 minutes of non-stop pressure, you need to go to your nearest emergency department. It may be necessary for a doctor or nurse to pack your nose with dressings to stop the bleeding.
If you have a facial injury that means you cannot put pressure on your nose to stop the bleeding, visit your nearest emergency department for further treatment.
You should call healthdirect for advice by a registered nurse if:
- your symptoms get worse
- you develop new symptoms
- you become increasingly concerned.
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Last reviewed: November 2017