Friday, August 15, 2008

Should you tilt back your head to treat a nosebleed?

I have this habit of reading newspapers which are a month old already. I do this to be able to pick up some news and information which I can blog on and share with others. As I was scanning the newspaper, my attention was caught by the header "should you tilt back your head to treat a nosebleed?" I got curious because I have two daughters who are frequent nosebleeders. Whenever their noses bleed, I always ask them to tilt back their head and I would pinch their nose bridge gently for 10 seconds. As I read the article written by Anahad O'connor in the Manila Bulletin's Lifestyle section issued last July 22,2008, it says that it is not adviseable to tilt back one's head to treat a nosebleed. According to the author, medical experts say that what most people know about nosebleed is wrong. Tilting the head back, a technique widely considered first aid can create complications by allowing blood into the esophagus. It risks choking, and it can cause blood to travel to the stomach, possibly leading to irritation and vomiting. O'connor also added that the American Academy of Family Physician says that the best treatment is to sit down, lean forward and keep your head above your heart, whech lessens the bleeding. Leaning forward also helps drain the blood from the nose and keeps it from the esophagus. Moreover, a report in the British journal BMJ says you can stop the bleeding by using your thumb and index finger to squeeze the soft tissue just below the bridge of yur nose for 5 to 10 minutes. A cold compress or ice pack placed across the bridge of the nose can also help.

The bottom line of the author's article: never treat a nosebleed by leaning your back.
Geez, I've been doing that to my children for quite sometime. Now, I know better. I hope you will do the same too.

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