Introduction: Epistaxis is the most common nasal emergency and if nasal packing is required this commonly results in admission.
Methods: A literature search could find no published (UK) protocols for the management of this common condition in accident and emergency (A&E) departments. This paper presents a retrospective review of 116 patients with epistaxis, following implementation of the new peer reviewed protocol in June 2004.
Results: Apart from cautery, 62 had nasal packing inserted. Only 17 required admission. Forty-six patients were discharged with nasal packing in situ and only seven (16 per cent) returned due to bleeding. The overall return rate was 11 per cent.
Discussion: We feel this is a safe and logical protocol. Compared to mandatory admission after nasal pack insertion, we saved 39 admissions in five months. There were also the added benefits to patients of being able to recuperate at home rather than in hospital and avoidance of the risk of hospital acquired infection.