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How do you stop a common nosebleed If someone in your family has a sudden nose bleed for no apparent reason do not panic. By following a few simple steps you can arrest the bleed.However consult a physician if the bleeding recurs First aid steps to follow a nose bleed: Pinch all the soft parts of the nose together between the thumb and index finger. Press firmly toward the face - compressing the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of the face. Lean forward slightly with the head tilted forward. Leaning back or tilting the head back allows the blood to run back into the sinuses and throat and can cause gagging or inhaling the blood. Hold the nose for at least five minutes. Repeat as necessary until the nose has stopped bleeding. Sit quietly, keeping the head higher than the level of the heart. Do not lay flat or put your head between your legs. Apply ice (wrapped in a towel) to nose and cheeks. How do you prevent the nose from bleeding again? Go home and rest with head elevated at 30 to 45 degrees. Do not blow your nose or put anything into it. If you have to sneeze, open your mouth so that the air will escape out the mouth and not through the nose. Do not strain during bowel movements. Use a stool softener (for example, docusate [Colace]).•Do not strain or bend down to lift anything heavy. Try to keep your head higher than the level of your heart. Do not smoke. Stay on a soft, cool diet. No hot liquids for at least 24 hours. Do not take any medications that will thin the blood for example, aspirin, ibuprofen, clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin). However do not stop taking regular medications without first contacting your doctor. Your doctor may recommend some form of lubricating ointment for the inside of the nose (see below). If re-bleeding occurs, try to clear the nose of clots by sniffing in forcefully. A temporary remedy such as a nasal decongestant spray, for example, Afrin or Neo-Synephrine may be helpful. These types of sprays constrict blood vessels. (NOTE: If used for many days at a time, these can cause addiction so they are recommended for short-term usage. Moreover, do not use if you have high blood pressure.) Repeat the steps above on how to stop the common nosebleed. If bleeding persists, call the doctor and/or go to the nearest emergency department. This first aid article was presented by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 10/10/2012 K.Badrinath