Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Foley catheter in epistaxis management – a scientific appraisal

  • C. Hartley (a1) and P. R. Axon (a1)


The Foley balloon catheter has been used in the management of posterior epistaxis for several decades. Despite a lack of uniformity in balloon use, it is frequently successful in arresting haemorrhage. A better understanding of the balloon's characteristics may further increase its effectiveness by more appropriate use in some individuals.

Inflation characteristics were assessed in vitro by measurement of balloon length and diameter at various inflation volumes. Deflation of air-filled balloons was found to be consistent for each balloon type. The deflation rate was unaffected when BIPP (bismuth-iodoform-paraffin paste) or liquid paraffin soaked gauze were applied to the catheter.

Recommendations for catheter use are made.


Corresponding author

Mr C. Hartley, 39 Beech Road, Cale Green, Stockport, Cheshire SK3 8HD


Hide All
Bell, M., Hawke, M., Jahan, A. (1974) New device for the management of post-nasal epistaxis by balloon tamponade. Archives of Otolaryngology 99: 372374.
Chrisp, J. M., Nacey, J. N. (1990) Foley catheter balloon puncture and the risk of free fragment formation. British Journal of Urology 66: 500502.
Elwany, S., Kamel, T., Mekhamer, A. (1986) Pneumatic nasal catheters: advantages and drawbacks. Journal of Laryngology and Otology 100: 641647.
Eschmann Healthcare. Epistaxis instruments – Brighton balloon: Catalogue no. 3.4.
Fenn, A. C. (1968) Radiopaque filled Foley balloon in posterior epistaxis. Archives of Otolaryngology 87: 171173.
Gaskill, J. R. (1972) Fixation of Foley catheter. Archives of Otolaryngology 96: 186187.
Johnson, F. (1956) The control of adenoid haemorrhage with a Foley catheter (balloon type). Archives of Otolaryngology 63: 295.
McFerran, D. J., Edmonds, S. E. (1993) The use of balloon catheters in the treatment of epistaxis. Journal of Laryngology and Otology 107: 197200.
McGarry, G. W., Aitken, D. (1991) Intranasal balloon catheters. How do they work? Clinical Otolaryngology 16: 388392.
Shaheen, O. H. (1987) Epistaxis. In Scott-Brown's Otolaryngology. 5th Edition. Vol. 4. (Kerr, A. G.Groves, J., eds.) Butterworths, London, pp 272282.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed