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.