Posterior Nosebleed - You DON'T Want One...

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Apr 5, 2004
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
Well, yesterday I was minding my own business, walking into a grocery store, when with no warning, my nose started bleeding. Not the usual drip, drip thing, but like a faucet -- steady stream of obviously arterial red blood. I bolted back to the car. A nice lady had just parked nearby, and taking one look at me, offered to call an ambulance. I graciously, but very foolishly, declined and drove the five miles home.

Upon arrival at home, the hand towel I had grabbed was totally sodden, and my clothes and car interior looked like I'd been shot.

Wife immediately rushed me to ER (which was only 1/2 mile from the grocery store...). And now her car looks like someone got shot in it. I walked in, and before I could even groan at the thought of waiting hours because of the huge crowd, the intake lady, taking one look, said with no fanfare at all, "sir, come with me now." They didn't even mention an insurance card -- that's what really scared me.

In the treatment room, I found myself getting an IV on one side (took a couple tries, I guess my veins were collapsing), and on the other, getting suction in my mouth and nose. About this time, I started getting really lightheaded, dizzy, and my vision began tunneling. Not good at all.

The doc ended up jamming a long balloon-like device into my nose, then inflating it to seal off the blood flow. The sensation seemed akin to having a railroad spike stuffed up your nose, to the head. A day later, the end of the contraption is sticking out of my nose, taped to my face, and I'm taking Lortab to ease the spike-in-head "sensation". Going to the ENT tomorrow morning to get it out and see if I need further treatment.

LESSON: I'd heard of posterior nosebleeds before, but never given them much thought. If any of you ever get one (indicators that distinguish from a "garden variety" bleed are volume of blood, and that much of it will end up going down into your mouth -- yuk), GET MEDICAL HELP AT ONCE! If it doesn't stop, and they often don't, you can bleed to death. The doc suggested I had less than an hour before mine would have gone critical. Lesson learned!

Enjoy being around for the holiday!
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Ive been prone to nosebleeds since I was young. Dry air is the main culprit nowadays, whereas it used to be cow's milk!

Mine were, I suppose, the run of the mill nosebleeds, but I had some gushers in my time that got scary for myself and all concerned... however not to the extent that you mention. wow.

Glad that you got the attention needed. Surely it would have made more sense to go to the hospital early, but braveness, inconvenience, etc. makes one think twice - it has for me in the past. Glad the wife made you go.

So, I suppose that the ER really only cares about causing it to stop, right? Did they give you any indication of how/why it started? I suppose the ENT doctor will look around and verify this, but was there some notable, understood cause, say high BP with an anneurysm or something similar that is the compelling reason?

I assume you are sleeping propped up so as to not choke on any clots that may still be in there?

Are you taking aspirin on a daily basis ?
Sometimes if you take too much it will thin your blood to the point in which you will get a very bad nose bleed.

The doc ended up jamming a long balloon-like device into my nose, then inflating it to seal off the blood flow

Same thing happened to my dad but his nose bleed lasted for hours and was given blood clotting drugs to stop the bleeding.

I know you are a tough Marine, but if you get a nose bleed that doesn't stop and is heavy in flow, head to the hospital ASAP !!! Hope you are feeling better on this very special day. High blood pressure might cause a nose bleed, it might also be a reaction to a perscription medication.
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Wow, I've never even heard of posterior nosebleeds.


Paging Mr. moribundman - code blue Mr. moribundman code blue. Awareness deficiency in the OT.

ek: sometimes grace under pressure isn't all that it's cracked up to be. If you were less calm ..the panic would have saved you from your own level headed disposition. Thankfully you were not 100 miles from nowhere and alone when this occurred.

Good lord, man, that is some scary stuff!

I've been blessed with never having a nosebleed in my life, BUT my best friend and my wife are prone to bad ones. You have to watch closely to see the change from 'just annoying' to 'get help NOW'...

Take care, and have a speedy recovery!
Originally Posted By: Johnny
Quit driving hybrid cars and get some tampons.

Seriously, hope you get better soon.

LOL! Ouch!!!

EK, I wish you a speedy recovery.

I was getting some really strange mental images of what a poterior Nosebleed might be until I read your explanation.
Hey guys, thanks for the kind words -- even you Johnnie
. The doc said that before the new balloon device, they actually used a tampon-like plug. Other than the very notable discomfort from the balloon-spike and the persistent wooziness from the blood loss, I think I'll be OK.

So far, I've avoided the temptation to post any pictures, but consider this. My seatbelt is is soaked solid red-brown over about 80% of the exposed area. The center console is similarly covered. Perhaps most remarkably, the exposed top edge of the money in my wallet is actually blood-stained. That there was enough to work its way back to my actual posterior is a scary thought indeed.
Sir, you did everything right. My wife is a ER nurse and she tells me they see this every once in a while. The have a ENT on the grounds of the hospital they call in for this and they oftem have yo cortirize the bleeding vessel. This can be very serious if not attended to in a timely manner. Glad your ok. Semper Fi
Wow you painted some word picture!

"The More you know"

May help someone someday. Get well.
NOW that you are okay, sorry your car is ruined. I know you work hard to keep them in good shape.

Important thing is you are okay, just commenting now that that is assured!
Well, I don't think the car is "ruined," not completely anyway. I've got the seatbelt soaking in a mixing bowl full of distilled water. Distilled water is near-miraculous at dealing with blood. Because it has no salts dissolved in it, there's a huge difference in saturation level between the water inside the red cells and the distilled water outside. This causes large amounts of water to cross the cell membrane, "overinflating" the cells until they burst, leaving just cell debris, instead of whole cells to latch onto cloth fibres. Works best when stain is fresh, but on the second fill of DW, the belt is almost blood-free. Getting to the blood that's between the seat and console will be another sort of challenge. . .

Well, here's some "visual black humor" to lighten it up a bit. For anyone who doubted my comment, above, re how far the blood spread, here's a pic of my wallet. Adding a new dimension to the term "blood money". . .
Yes, again, that wallet was in my right rear pocket when all this, including a gallon or so of my blood, went down.
Originally Posted By: XS650

I was getting some really strange mental images of what a poterior Nosebleed might be until I read your explanation.


Glad your OK Ekpolk.
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Click here to see a nice Healthline article on the subject. The more I read up on this subject, the more ominous warnings I see about posterior bleeds, like this from the linked article:
If you suspect a posterior nosebleed (bleeding from the nose accompanied by brisk bleeding into the throat, so that a lot of blood is continually swallowed, particularly after the anterior bleeding has been controlled), immediately evacuate the victim to a hospital (emphasis added).
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