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Epistaxis

Epistaxis is a condition of nose bleeding. Nosebleeds can occur due to many causes. Often local trauma, nasal infection or foreign body are the cause for nose bleeds. Epistaxis is rarely fatal. Episodes of Epistaxis are more prevalent in cold and dry weather. Another common condition that leads to nose bleeds is drying of the nasal membranes. Those persons who are on anti-coagulants are more susceptible to epistaxis. High blood pressure and inflammation or sinusitis can make a person more susceptible to nose bleed. Colds, allergies and upper respiratory tract infections can increase the risk of epistaxis. Work-related conditions such as hazardous or irritating chemicals can trigger nose bleeds. Usually, nosebleeds involve just one nostril. This condition can usually be treated at home with first-aid measures. You can stop the bleeding with topical medication and ice pack. If there is excessive bleeding accompanied with shortness of breath, contact a health worker immediately. A physician may use cryotherapy(use of cold temperature) or laser therapy (laser beam to seal bleeding vessels) to curb the nose bleed.

Nosebleed

A nosebleed or epistaxis is usually not a serious condition. It can occur due to local or inherent body factors. Most nosebleeds are idiopathic. The nose is lined with tiny blood vessels that are liable to bleed if they are picked or inflamed or disturbed. Local factors that can lead to a nosebleed are trauma to the nose by a sharp object, foreign body inside the nose and intranasal tumor. Common systemic factors that can lead to a nosebleed include inflammatory reaction due to sinusitis, allergic rhinitis or environmental irritants, allergic rhinitis and respiratory disease. Placing an ice pack on the cheek might help reduce bleeding. Keep your head up without bending till the bleeding stops. Check with a medical person if the nosebleed does not stop after 30 minutes.


Cauterization

Cauterization is an outpatient procedure to prevent excessive blood loss. The term 'Cautery' refers to a white hot iron rod usually heated it till it is dull red in color before the procedure. Cauterization helps in the closure of blood vessels to prevent bleeding. The predominant forms of cauterization procedure administered in the modern world are electro cautery and chemical cautery.


Electro Cauterization

This procedure is similar to the principle applied in soldering iron. A metal probe, usually iron is heated with help of an electric circuit to a desirable temperature. This method is applied to close the small blood vessels and also in intricate procedures that involves the cutting of small tissues. Skin Cancer is also treated by this method since it involves the principle of removing tissue with cutterage and desiccation caused by electricity. Soft tissues are also cut with electro cauterization as the amount of bleeding caused is almost negligible. Electro cauterization is considered safer than chemical cauterization as the damage caused to neighboring tissues is minimal.


Chemical cauterization

The administration of chemicals can damage healthy tissues during the procedure and hence this method is not preferred by many doctors. Although the agents used are common chemicals, there is a probability of tissue leaching by the chemicals which can create additional complications. The chemicals commonly used during this procedure are cantharidin which is administered in case of warts or lesions on the skin, silver nitrate and trichloroacetic acid.


Cauterization is done in various areas of the body depending upon the type, size and the location of the lesion, wart or an abnormal tissue. In most cases cauterization is an outpatient procedure. However in case of cervical tissue growth, general anesthesia is administered as it involves deep tissues associated with the cervix. Epistaxis or nose bleed is another condition in which cauterization procedure is widely administered.


Electro cauterization is usually a seven minute procedure for skin lesions and warts and it is performed under local anesthesia. The cells which are burnt are carefully removed by the physician. A thorough analysis is done in the laboratory to rule out complications such as secondary infections or tissue damage. Cauterization is also used in the removal of scars and moles. The moles removed by cauterization usually heal in a few days and the patient is advised to keep the wound in sterile condition to prevent infections.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 11, 2019