Epistaxis And The Anatomy Of The Nose Biology Essay

Epistaxis is the term used for nose bleeds. It occurs in about 60 % of people during their life-times with 6 % requiring or seeking medical attending ( 1, 2 ) .Reports of epistaxis occur more often in the colder dryer months of the twelvemonth by and large happening more often in males than females. There is besides an increasing incidence with age with 70 % of grownup males over 60 old ages holding experienced an episode ( 3 ) .

The causes of nosebleed can be local or systemic and are classified by the location either anterior or posterior. The most common being anterior bleeds and happening in an country known as Kiesselbach ‘s country, or Little ‘s country. This is a localized part of mucous membrane in the anteroinferior part of the nasal septum where four arterias anastamose organizing Kiesselbach ‘s rete, named after Wilhelm Kiesselbach, ( 1 December 1839 – 4 August 1902 ) , a German ENT man. ( 4 )

Anatomy of the olfactory organ

Blood supply

The arterial blood supply to the rhinal part comes from both the internal and external carotid arterias ( 5, 6 ) . The external carotid supplies most of the rhinal pit via subdivisions that form the internal upper jaw arterias which are the greater palatal arteria and the sphenopalatine arteria. The sphenopalatine arteria supplies the rhinal pit via its sidelong and median subdivisions with the sidelong subdivision providing the center, inferior and superior turbinals with the in-between subdivision providing the rhinal septum. The greater palatine arteria

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The external carotid supplies the superior labial subdivision of the supplies the inferior nasal septum where it joins to organize an anastamosis with median subdivisions of the sphenopalatine arteria. The median wall of the nasal anteroom which is the most anterior portion of the rhinal pit is supplied by the superior labial arteria which is a subdivision of the facial arteria.

The internal carotid arteria gives off subdivisions which form the buttocks and anterior ethmoidal arterias, normally ramifying off the ophthalmic arteria. This passes through the cribiform home base and signifiers an anastamosis with subdivisions of the sphenopalatine arteria and hence organizing the pre mentioned Kiesselbach ‘s country, or Little ‘s country. ( 4 ) .

Figures 1.1 and 1.2, these show the blood supply to the nasal septum and sidelong nasal wall.

Epistaxis happening

Epistaxis or epistaxiss can be mild or terrible and in rare instances even fatal with the bulk necessitating no intercession or merely simple rhinal wadding ( 8 ) .

Anterior epistaxiss, happening in Kiesselbach ‘s country, are the most common accounting for 90 % of instances, due to the rich anastomotic blood supply ( 9 ) . These are normally easy to pull off and normally do non necessitate hospitalization. The farther 10 % happening posterior normally occur in the older population with one study demoing the average age to be 64years ( 10 ) . The pathogenesis of posterior nosebleed is unknown but due to the common happening in older populations the cause could be seen to be linked to age related vascular devolution and due to the location of such bleeds direction is much more hard ( 11 ) .

Epistaxis Aetiology

The major aetiological factors for nosebleed can be of local cause as in injury, for illustration ego induced digital injury, ( nose picking ) which is a common happening in kids, polyps and foreign organic structures or systemic such as curdling upsets such as hemophilias or drug induced coagulopathies due to the disposal of Coumadin or acetylsalicylic acid ( 2 ) . The other major causes and rarer causes of nosebleed can be found in Table 1

Aim 2

Current Guidelines and direction programs for handling nosebleed

Presently there are no NICE guidelines for the direction of nosebleed and all NHS trust are guided by their ain policies and processs, yet the bulk of establishments, ( 85 % ) as noted in a UK study carried out, failed to hold a written policy or protocol and therefore determinations on direction being made at the clip of admittance with no counsel on the optimal curative intercession for the patient ( 12, 13 )

The establishment in which the writer is linked to has its ain local policies for the intervention and direction of patients go toing the infirmary for with nosebleed and these policies and guidelines closely follow those in the antecedently mentioned literature inside informations and are detailed below.

Staff members who are involved in such attention are required to finish a competence statement to guarantee they are cognizant of how to handle such patients. This competence statement can be found in appendix 1 ( 14 ) .

Management of nosebleed patients

On admittance of a patient with nosebleed it is indispensable that the examining practician is prepared and ready this means wearing baseball mitts and personal protective equipment. As for any exigency the patients “ ABC ” s are the most of import and the patient must be resuscitated before any other intercessions. The first intercession is squeezing of the nose as shown in figure 2, this may be required for 10-15 proceedingss. Ice battalions placed over the olfactory organ may besides be helpful. If this process fails to work the mext measure is cautery.

Cauterisation requires local anesthetic spray and if available a vasoconstrictive spray, a headlamp, speculum and Ag nitrate cauterant sticks or bipolar diathermy. The process is explained to the patient and the spray in administered to each anterior naris. Once the country of hemorrhage is identified the Ag nitrate stick is applied for about 10 seconds or the bipolar diathermy used. ( 15, 16 ) .

For all patients go toing with an nosebleed a full patient history is required this should be taken from the patient rapidly and comprehensively and must include the undermentioned points

History of nasal injury

household history of shed blooding

high blood pressure, current medicines and how good it is controlled

history of hepatic diseases

Use of decoagulants

Other medicines e.g. for diabetes or coronary arteria disease

If cauterant fails anterior rhinal packing demands to be considered. Extra equipment required includes thread gauze impregnated with Bi tri-iodomethane paraffin paste ( BIPP ) , Vaseline gauze or MerocelA® battalions. Another battalion on the market is the Rapid RhinoA® which in a clinical test has been proved every bit effectual as the MerocelA® battalions but has shown significantly lower tonss for uncomfortableness during its interpolation and remotion ( 17 ) .

If there is continued shed blooding after interpolation of an anterior battalion so postnasal wadding is to be considered and senior aid should be sought. For this process there are assorted station nasal packs available.

If after 24 hours there are still marks of shed blooding through the battalion or the patient rhenium bleeds, the patient is a instance for surgery. Surgery depends on the vas that is shed blooding and involves ligation of the said vas. This ab initio requires an scrutiny under general anesthesia with farther cautery with bipolar diathermy and endoscopic sphenopalatine arteria ligation. This is the intervention of pick so long as the patient is fit for a general anesthetic. This process has been deemed safe and of a low morbidity in comparing to ligation of the upper jaw or external carotid arterias ( 19 ) .

Embolisation is another technique which can be used for intractable nosebleed and is peculiarly good for usage in patients who are unable or unfit to hold a general anesthetic and surgery or for whom surgery has failed. It does nevertheless transport its ain hazards and complications.

Aim 3

Specific interventions for posterior bleeds

The interventions involved in terrible posterior nosebleed can include any of the methods antecedently mentioned and morbidity among the different interventions has been found to change ( 21 ) .

Angiographic embolisation is a intervention method adopted in some instances of intractable nosebleed but due to its handiness is non ever possible for all patients. The purpose of embolisation is to diminish arterial influx and assistance hemostasis by leting curdling and epithelial fix.

Literature sing angiographic embolisation day of the months back to 1974 when Sokoloff foremost described the method in 2 instances ( 22 ) .

Many different reappraisals have been written on the process, its efficaciousness, success and complications yet the process still remains a last resort intervention for the bulk of patients enduring intractable nosebleed and would be offered perennial ligation of the vas involved this in portion is due to it non being widely available due to the demand of an experient neuroradiologist establishments hence merely being able to offer ligation interventions. Complications of the assorted interventions are traveling to be reviewed with the purpose to find the best class of intervention for patients.

Description of the process – angiographic embolisation

To get down the process the patient must first undergo a diagnostic angiography to turn up the exact beginning of the bleeding. In nosebleed this is angiography paying peculiar attending to the external carotid arteria and its subdivision to the internal maxillary arteria.

The usual attack is femoral, with the disposal of local anesthetic. A 4-6 Gallic gage steering catheter is used and is advanced up to the internal or external carotid arterias bilaterally. A diagnostic angiogram is performed utilizing a contrast medium and the ipsilateral internal maxillary arteria is identified and catheterised.

Diagnostic angiograms are highly of import and must be carefully analysed prior to continuing due to possible “ unsafe anastamosis ” . These include connexions between the internal and external carotid arterias which could potentially let embolic stuff to base on balls from one vas to the other and go a possible infarction hazard.

Once the angiograms have been analysed and no “ unsafe anastamosis identified hemorrhage vass are identified and their arterial supply is so micro catheterised.

Embolisation is so performed on the identified vas. If the vas can non be identified or visualised so bilateral internal maxillary arterias are embolised.

Embolisation is stopped when flow in the distal subdivisions of the embolised vas are significantly slow and repetition angiography is performed to determine the extent of embolisation achieved ( 21, 23, 24 ) .

Embolisation is carried out utilizing a assortment of embolic agents spirals, polyvinyl intoxicant and gelfoam being the most common used in nosebleed.

Embolic agents and stuffs


Coils are subdivided into micro and macro spirals. Microcoils are the spirals used to embolise in nosebleed. The large advantage of embolising utilizing spirals is that they can be placed exactly under fluoroscopic control. Occlusion of the vas occurs due to thrombosis induced by the spiral and to increase the thrombotic consequence Dacron wool is attached to the terminal of the spirals. An advantage for the usage of spirals is due to them being extremely thrombogenic and radiopaque. A disadvantage of spirals is the possible to for collateralisation and the ensuing continuity of bloodflow to the embolised vas and trouble in reiterating the process ( 25, 26 ) .

Polyvinyl Alcohol ( PVA )

Polyvinyl intoxicant is available in a assortment of sizes up to ~710I?m and is used with a micro catheter for bringing. It is normally delivered in a mixture of contrast medium and Na chloride. PVA embolisation depends on thrombus formation where the vas is embolised via the thrombus instead than the atom itself. It causes an inflammatory reaction which is therefore responsible for the thrombus. It is a lasting embolic agent and recanalization merely has a low frequence. It is non absorbed and this adds to the lasting occlusion formed.


Gelfoam is a H2O soluble gelatine sponge. It can be cut to size and absorbs many times its ain weight in fluids. It is absorbed to the full within a few hebdomads and is intended for impermanent vas occlusion while farther collateral vass are formed.

Other stuffs are used and include balloons and collagen but are less common.

Aim 4

Embolisation, contraindications and complications


Contraindications for embolisation include unsafe anastamoses between the internal carotid arteria and the external carotid arteria which could do embolic stuffs to go through across the vass and cause infarction within the encephalon. It is besides contraindicated in instances where hemorrhage is found to be from the front tooth or posterior ethmoidal arteria. Embolisation is contraindicated in these instances due to the hazard of embolising the ophthalmic arteria which would transport a really high hazard of sightlessness ( 4, 25 ) .