Nosebleeds at school – do you know what to do ?

Our team of first aid instructors often visit schools to provide training for teachers and other school staff, typically for a group of people on an INSET or training day.

We regularly come cross situations where people working at a school are still using out of date and potentially risky ways of treating a nosebleed, now as nosebleeds are probably the most common type of school first aid problem, with the help of our team we have put together some pointers to ensure you know what to do.

1. NEVER LEAN THE CASUALTY BACK. Leaning the casualty back is risky and ineffective.  As the head is tilted back blood flows into the throat where it then could cause choking or vomiting – in any case the bleeding has not stopped, it merely appears to have stopped.  Leaning the head back is a common error, and although widespread back in the day when  I was a child, it has no place in today’s  schools.
Carlton Training 1st aid

2. Lean forwards and pinch below the bridge of the nose.   Pinching will help reduce blood flow and leaning forwards will help avoid blood flowing into the throat and air passage.

3.  Keep them quiet. Ask the casualty not to speak, swallow, cough or sniff as this may disturb blood clots and cause further bleeding.

4. Release the pinch. After 10 minutes release the pinch and if the bleeding continues pinch again for periods of ten minutes at a time.

5. Keep looking after them. If the casualty shows signs of shock (e.g. paleness, shivering, confusion, thirst)  send for an ambulance or other medical help.

 6. Get help. If the nosebleed continues for over 30 minutes get medical advice.  Also seek medical help if the child has had a blow to the head or face.

Hope this helps.  Remember there is no substitute for proper training, such as one of our Emergency First Aid at Work courses which are ideal for schools.


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