Nosebleeds are common, messy and embarrassing. No one likes to drip blood all over everything.
Children are especially prone to nosebleeds, perhaps because they are also more likely to pick their noses. Other causes include dry air, a blow to the nose, frequent sneezing or high blood pressure.
Some doctors recommend blowing the nose to clear out the clots and then applying pressure by pinching the nose shut for 10 to 15 minutes. Others suggest an ice pack over the bridge of the nose.
A reader recently shared an unusual home remedy: “A few years ago, a co-worker developed a major nosebleed. I tried ice and pressure to no avail. The bleeding had me worried.
“A co-worker stopped and asked, ‘Where are your car keys?’ The person with the nosebleed handed her his huge key ring and she loosened his shirt and dropped the keys down his back. Within 30 seconds the bleeding stopped! Her grandmother had used this method for years.”
We had never encountered this approach before. But we have since heard from many readers that this remedy has been widely used for more than 50 years. Here are some of their stories:
“I’m 51 years old and remember keys stopping a nosebleed. A college student who lived next door to us when I was in elementary school had some pretty severe bleeds. Car keys would always do the trick!”
A professor emerita in early childhood education shared her experience: “I was teaching in a rural school in south Georgia in a 4-pod classroom with 120 first graders and four teachers. Kids played hard in the heat and humidity and many children came in with nosebleeds.
“I used the old methods of squeezing their nostrils and having them hold their heads back or putting ice on the backs of their necks to try to stop the bleeding. One day an elderly custodian who had lived in the south all her life took out her car keys, asked for some string to tie through the key ring, placed the string around the neck of the child with the nosebleed and dropped the keys down the child’s back under her shirt. That nosebleed was no longer a frightening problem!
“The only difference from your story was the string. I treated nosebleeds this way and never had a problem again. That’s 120 first graders a year for 15 years, which sounds like a pretty big number to me!”
Keys are not the only metal objects used to stop nosebleeds: “When I was a young boy, my nose would start to bleed at least once a week. To stop the bleeding, my mother would take a butter knife, which she kept in the freezer, and place the flat part on my back just below my neck. My nose stopped bleeding almost instantly.
“My sister now keeps a butter knife in her freezer to stop her 10-year-old’s nosebleeds. We learned this method from my father’s grandmother, who had an incredible knowledge of home remedies.”
If such old-fashioned home remedies don’t work, there is a new high-tech product in the drugstore. NosebleedQR contains hydrophilic polymer powder and potassium salt. In one study, it stopped a nosebleed in less than a minute for most patients.
If a home remedy or over-the-counter medicine doesn’t work promptly, medical attention is essential. Prolonged bleeding (15 to 20 minutes) requires a trip to the emergency room.
10/27/18 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/how-to-use-cold-keys-to-stop-your-nosebleed/