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Controlling epistaxis with an improvised device
  1. V Moxham1,
  2. C Reid2
  1. 1Emergency Department, North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, UK
  2. 2Intensive Care Unit, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Reid, 36 Berkeley Close, Southampton SO15 2TR, UK

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Anterior epistaxis accounts for 90% of all nosebleeds and its initial treatment requires the application of firm bilateral pressure on the nasal septum by compressing the cartilaginous part of the nose.1 This is often done by a nurse if the patient is infirm or confused, which is an inefficient use of staff time. During the busy winter period emergency department physicians improvised with this simple device made from a wooden tongue depressor and elastic band (fig 1). The degree of pressure can be varied by adjusting the position of the elastic band. Swimmer's nose clips have been recommended for such use in this journal,2 but our device provides a cheaper and more readily available alternative, which is disposable. This patient's epistaxis resolved after 10 minutes and required no further treatment.