To determine the long-term outcome for children treated for recurrent epistaxis, and to compare the efficacy of antiseptic cream treatment and nasal cautery.
Retrospective analytical cohort study of 88 children treated for recurrent epistaxis in 2001.
Five-year data on chlorhexidine–neomycin cream usage, nasal cautery, current epistaxis frequency and emergency room attendance was collected by telephone interview and case record review.
During their first clinic visit, 51 per cent of the children had been treated with cautery and cream and 35 per cent with cream alone; 14 per cent had received no treatment. Five years later, 65 per cent of these children were still having ongoing epistaxis. Those who had undergone cautery and received cream had the highest ongoing bleeding rate (77 per cent).
The majority of children treated at our clinic for recurrent epistaxis had ongoing bleeding five years later. Despite the proven short-term efficacy of chlorhexidine–neomycin cream, few patients receive further courses of cream or are referred back to the clinic.