Epistaxis in children

Written by: Dr L Govender (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist)

Epistaxis, also known as a nosebleed, is a common and usually innocuous event in childhood. This condition having an adverse effect on the quality of life on children and their parents. These children are usually susceptible to nose bleeds due to extensive vascular supply to the nasal mucosa and the increased frequency of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Generally smaller bleeds can be managed effectively by primary care physicians, care givers or parents but frequent or severe bleeds should be referred to an Otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist).

The prevalence of epistaxis is more common in children with upper respiratory tract infections and allergies. It is rare below two years of age but peaks in children from three to eight years. Epistaxis is more evident in winter months possibly due to increased frequencies of upper respiratory tract infections or drying effect of the nasal mucosa.

The cause of epistaxis

The most common site of bleeds is the anterior part of the nasal septum. This part of the nasal mucosa is thin and easily exposed to dry air currents during the respiratory cycle. As in in the adult, the bleeding usually arises from the Little’s/Kiesselbach’s are. (Below figure )

Dr Govender is based at Mediclinic Midstream and performs his day surgery procedures at Cure Day Hospitals Midstream.

Contact details: 012 652 9421

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