Head and Face
NASPE/NCAT Sport Injury Resource
Whenever the facial area receives a direct blow, nosebleeds can occur. Nosebleeds
can also occur from medications, allergies, or illness. Most nosebleeds will
stop spontaneously after a short period of time. The following are steps you
can take to help manage a nosebleed:
- Have the person sit upright (Do not move the person upright if a neck injury
is suspected or if the person is unconscious).
- Apply a cold compress over the nose or have the athlete apply direct pressure
to the affected nostril for approximately five minutes.
- If the bleeding does not stop after five minutes, roll up a piece of gauze
and insert it in the nostril. Make sure there is enough gauze protruding outside
the nose so it can be removed. After five minutes slowly twist and pull the
gauze from the nose. Once bleeding has stopped, the athlete can return back
to activity. The athlete should not blow their nose for up to two hours.
- If the nosebleed does not stop, the athlete should seek medical attention.
Noses can also be broken. If a break is suspected, the athlete should be seen
by a doctor as soon as possible. Any injury to the nose other than a minor bump
with superficial bleeding needs to be seen by a doctor for further evaluation.
Injuries to the nose caused by significant force such as being struck in the
face by a batted or thrown ball, or one which continues to bleed, or one with
significant swelling or deformity, needs to be considered a fracture until x-rays
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