Nose Injuries and Athletic Activity
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 prove otherwise.
Reprinted with the permission of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
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