Management of Epistaxis


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1 : Management of Epistaxis The Goal is Control Tracey W. Childers, DO Otolaryngology - Board Certified Tahlequah, OK
2 : Epistaxis - Introduction One of the most frequent causes of bleeding. Most of the time, bleeding is self-limited, but can often be serious and life-threatening. Epistaxis should never be treated as a harmless event.
3 : Local Causes of Epistaxis Nasal trauma (nose picking, foreign bodies, forceful nose blowing) Allergic, chronic or infectious rhinitis Chemical irritants Medications (topical) Drying of the nasal mucosa from low humidity Deviation of nasal septum or septal perforation Bleeding polyp of the septum or lateral nasal wall (inverted papilloma) Neoplasms of the nose or sinuses Tumors of the nasopharynx especially Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma Vascular malformation
4 : Systemic Causes of Epistaxis Anticoagulants (ASA, NSAIDS) Hepatic disease Blood diseases and coagulopathies such as Thrombocytopenia, ITP, Leukemia, Hemophilia Platelet dysfunction Systemic arterial hypertension Endocrine Causes: pregnancy, pheochromocytoma Hereditary hemorrhagic telangectasias Osler Rendu Weber Syndrome
5 : Most Common Causes of Epistaxis Disruption of the nasal mucosa - local trauma, dry environment, forceful blowing, etc. Facial trauma Scars and damage from previous nosebleeds that reopen and bleed Intranasal medications or recreational drugs Hypertension and/or arteriosclerosis Anticoagulant medications
6 : Nasal Blood Supply Internal and external carotid arteries Many arterial and venous anastomoses Kiesselbach’s plexus (Little’s area) in anterior septum Woodruff’s plexus in posterior septum
7 : Nasal Septal Blood Supply
8 : Vascular anatomy of the medial and lateral nasal walls
9 : Patient History Previous bleeding episodes Nasal trauma Family history of bleeding Hypertension - current medications and how tightly controlled Hepatic diseases Use of anticoagulants Other medical conditions - DM, CAD, etc.
10 : Physical Exam - Equipment Protective equipment - gloves, safety goggles Headlight if available Nasal Speculum Suction with Frazier tip Bayonet forceps Tongue depressor Vasoconstricting agent (such as oxymetazoline) Topical anesthetic
11 : Therapeutic Equipment to be Available Variety of nasal packing materials Silver nitrate cautery sticks 10cc syringe with 18G and 27G 1.5inch needles Local anesthetic for prn injection Gelfoam, Collagen absorbable hemostat, Surgicel or other hemostatic materials.
12 : General Epistaxis Supplies
13 : Physical Exam Measure blood pressure and vital signs Apply direct pressure to external nose to decrease bleeding Use vasoconstricting spray mixed with tetracaine in a 1:1 ratio for topical anesthesia IDENTIFY THE BLEEDING SOURCE
14 :
15 : Types of Nosebleeds ANTERIOR Most common in younger population Usually due to nasal mucosal dryness May be alarming because can see the blood readily, but generally less severe Usually controlled with conservative measures
16 : Types of Nosebleeds POSTERIOR Usually occurs in older population HTN and ASVD are common contributing factors May also have deviation of nasal septum Significant bleeding in posterior pharynx More challenging to control
17 : Treatment of Anterior Epistaxis Localized digital pressure for minimum of 5-10 minutes, perhaps up to 20 minutes Silver nitrate cautery - avoid cautery of bilateral nasal septum as this may lead to necrosis and perforation of the septum Collagen Absorbable Hemostat or other topical coagulant Anterior nasal packing for refractory epistaxis - may use expandable sponge packing or gauze packing
18 : Traditional Anterior Pack Usually, 1/2 inch Iodiform or NuGauze is used. Coat the gauze with a topical antibiotic ointment prior to placement.
19 : Other Anterior Nasal Packs Formed expandable sponges are very effective Available in many shapes, sizes and some are impregnated with antibacterial properties
20 : Correct direction for placement of nasal packing
21 : Treatment of Posterior Epistaxis IV pain medication and antiemetics may be helpful Use topical anesthetic and vasoconstrictive spray for improved visualization and patient comfort Balloon-type episaxis devices often easiest Foley catheter or other traditional posterior packs may be necessary
22 : Traditional Posterior Pack
23 : Posterior Balloon Packing Always test before placing in patient Fill “balloons” with water, not air Orient in direction shown Fill posterior balloon first, then anterior Document volumes used to fill balloons
24 : Complications of Posterior Packs Must be careful after placement of a posterior pack to avoid necrosis of the nasal ala Often this can be avoided by repositioning the ports of the balloon pack and close monitoring of the site
25 : Duration of Packing Placement Actual duration will vary according to the patient’s particular needs. Typically, anterior pack at least 24-48 hours, sometimes longer. Posterior pack may need to remain for 48-72 hours. If a balloon pack is used, advised tapered deflation of balloons - most successful when volume is documented.
26 : Patients with Nasal Packing Best to place patient on a p.o. antibiotic to decrease risk of sinusitis and Toxic Shock Syndrome Advise pt to avoid straining, bending forward or removing packing early If other nostril is unpacked, advise topical saline spray and saline gel to moisturize nasal mucosa
27 : Patients with Nasal Packing Most patients may be treated as outpatients but hospital admission and observation should be strongly considered when a posterior pack is used. SaO2 should be monitored as well. Admission may also be prudent for those with CAD, severe HTN or significant anemia. Give supplemental oxygen via humidified face tent.
28 : Other Treatments for Refractory Epistaxis Greater palatine foramen block Septoplasty Endoscopic cauterization Selective embolization by interventional radiologist Internal maxillary artery ligation Transantral sphenopalatine artery ligation Intraoral ligation of the maxillary artery Anterior and posterior ethmoid artery ligation External carotid artery ligation
29 : Greater Palatine Foramen Block Mechanism of action is volume compression of vascular structures Lidocaine 1% or 2% with epinephrine 1:200,000 used or Lidocaine with sterile water. Do not insert needle more than 25mm
30 :
31 : Preventive Measures Keep allergic rhinitis under control. Use saline nasal spray frequently to cleanse and moisturize the nose. Avoid forceful nose blowing Avoid digital manipulation of the nose with fingers or other objects Use saline-based gel intranasally for mucosal dryness Consider using a humidifier in the bedroom Keep vasoconstricting spray at home to use only prn epistaxis
32 :

 

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