OBJECTIVE--To investigate the level of lay knowledge of first aid measures for epistaxis, and to determine the effectiveness of an ENT department policy of providing an advice sheet of first aid measures. METHODS--50 patients presenting with epistaxis were questioned on the accuracy and level of their knowledge of the four basic procedures used to combat a nose-bleed. The results were correlated with the source of referral, previous treatment, and advice. RESULTS--A large proportion of patients who had previously been treated for epistaxis by their general practitioners and other non-ENT trained medical or nursing staff were unable to recall being given any first aid advice. For those who remembered being given advice, very few described all the steps correctly. In contrast, patients who had previously been seen by the ENT staff scored full points in every aspect. CONCLUSIONS--The results are a reflection of the departmental policy of supplying information sheets outlining the first aid measures to all patients presenting with epistaxis.
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