Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objectives: To investigate factors affecting the haemostatic success of non-dissolvable intranasal packs in the management of acute epistaxis presenting to the emergency department (ED). Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: A nationwide prospective audit examining epistaxis management at 113 sites in the UK over a 30-day period. Participants: Patients 16 years or older, presenting to the ED with acute epistaxis managed with non-dissolvable intranasal packs. Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was pack success, defined as successful haemostasis following nasal pack removal, not requiring further packing or surgical intervention or interventional radiology. Results: A cohort of 969 patients presented with epistaxis to the ED, with nasal packs being inserted in 54.4% by ED staff and by ENT in a further 18.9%. Overall, nasal packs were successful in 87.5%. Longer duration packs (≥21 hours) were more successful than shorter-duration packs (89.9% vs. 84.3%, χ2 P =.028). A patient survey supported longer packing duration. The most significant predictors of treatment failure were shorter packing duration (Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.3; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.4-3.8), alongside ischaemic heart disease (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.1-3.3), normal admission haemoglobin (OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.2-3.4) and no attempt at cautery following pack removal (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.4-4.2). Conclusions: The majority of epistaxis patients are packed by the ED prior to referral to ENT. Once inserted, nasal packs are highly successful, with data supporting the British Rhinological Society guidance of maintaining nasal packs for around 24 hours. Further work is needed to explore alternatives to non-dissolvable intranasal packs to improve patient experience in epistaxis.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical Otolaryngology

Publication Date





659 - 666