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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Nosebleeds are rarely dangerous. The bleeding is often caused by colds, a blow to the nose, dry air, or a simple scratch inside the nose. To stop a nosebleed, sit up and tilt your head forward. This will prevent you from swallowing blood. Squeeze the fleshy, lower part of the nose between the thumb and index finger. Some blood may go down the back of the throat, but it will do no harm and can be spit out. Maintain the pressure for ten minutes, then release it slowly. If the bleeding continues, resume the pressure for a few more minutes. Place a cold cloth against the bridge of the nose to help constrict the blood vessels. After the bleeding stops, be careful not to sniff or blow your nose for a few hours as this may dislodge the clot. If you are unable to stop the bleeding within twenty minutes, you should see a doctor. It may be necessary to have the nose packed with gauze or, in some cases, to have the bleeding area cauterized (caw-ter-rized). See a doctor if the nosebleed is caused by an injury such as a broken nose or if you have frequent, severe nosebleeds. For more information about nosebleeds, consult your health care provider.

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