Nose bleeds – head forwards or backwards?

Well, you can tip the person’s head forwards if you like them, but backwards if you like your carpet better. For the person suffering, forwards is better – let’s see why.

Nose Bleeds – head forwards

This allows the blood which is escaping to drain away. Pinch the soft part of the nose (just under the ‘bridge’) for 5-10 minutes and the pressure should also help the bleeding to stop. Job done. If it hasn’t stopped, apply pressure for longer. If you’re getting to half an hour without being able to stop the bleeding, get them off to professional help.

Nose Bleeds: Why do people say to tip the head backwards?

This is still a question we get in class and it probably comes from a time when granny’s carpet was more important than your wellbeing. If a person tips their head back during a nose bleed, the blood is still escaping somewhere – you just can’t see it. This is good for keeping things clean, not so good for the poor person swallowing their own blood. Small amounts don’t matter, but eventually you risk them vomiting it back. This isn’t good for them or the carpets.

Tips & Tricks for Treating Nose Bleeds

So far, so simple. Tip their head forward and pinch the nose. Here are a few other tricks which may help you and them.

If they are afraid of the sight of blood… do not give them something white (your bandages?) to soak up the blood, it looks quite dramatic! Give them something brown or black. The blood will be way less obvious.

Not got a black towel? Let the blood flow into fresh earth – again it gets soaked away without being very noticeable.

Don’t let blood drip into the sink. At least not while it’s full of water. The blood spreads rapidly over the surface of the water, making it look much worse than it should.

An ice pack on the top lip under the nose can help treat nose bleeds. The cold air chills the blood vessels and reduces blood flow.

Finally, the commonest cause of nose bleeds, especially in children, is putting something up there which doesn’t belong. Try to keep fingers and other objects out of the holes!

Check out Button Batteries cause kids problems!

About Tony Howarth

Tony is a First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer with Sea 2 Sky Safety Training Services and the company founder. Tony started with the British Red Cross in 1994. Has acted as first aid attendant for hundreds of events & treated many hundreds of people as a result. He is experienced in training a wide range of courses. He previously worked as an ambulance attendant with the British Red Cross. He is now in BC as a first aid instructor, and an instructor trainer (one who trains others to become instructors) Finally, Tony works at Squamish General Hospital as the pharmacist manager when not busy training safety
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