May 21, 2015 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever had your nose "packed" due to a nosebleed? How long did they leave the packing in? While the packing was in, did you have pain that was not manageable with Tylenol? What restrictions did you have after removal? (Could you have, for example, driven yourself home? How about driven a car for three hours?)
posted by anastasiav to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Based on personal experience as a dumb college student who almost died from a nosebleed:

- Don't remove the packing early
- Don't manage the pain with (blood-thinning) Aspirin
- Avoid high altitudes, if possible.
posted by johngoren at 1:42 PM on May 21, 2015

Yes, I have been packed, when I got hit in the nose with a thrown baseball. I do not remember how long in but it was between 24 and 48 hours. I had no pain that was not manageable with Tylenol and a few beers. I do recall that at the emergency room when the doctor was squeezing my nose and poking at it, they gave me a Tylenol 3 for pain, but that was the only one. Removal was discomforting more than painful. I was told not to play sports for a week I think and if it started bleeding to come right in. I do not recall if I drove home, but I know I drove alone 4 hours the next day after removal to visit a relative in another state.

(If this is not what you were referring to about being "packed" apologies and ignore.)
posted by AugustWest at 1:42 PM on May 21, 2015

Response by poster: That is exactly what I was referring to, thank you!
posted by anastasiav at 1:52 PM on May 21, 2015

I had my nose packed for what was at the time a 'standard' nosebleed for me. It scared the ever loving shit out of every medical practitioner who became involved in that visit. Ymmv.

I was instructed to leave the packing in for twelve hours, so I did, even though I knew my own body. It hurt less than having my nose cauterized (don't Google image search that), and it was the event that got my medical team to take me seriously when I said my four times weekly nosebleeds were seriously interfering with my life.

I was permitted to drive myself home and received no instructions regarding long drives.

My nosebleeds have a harder time resolving at altitude so I try to avoid sky diving and make sure to stay extra hydrated on aircraft.

My suggestions are:
Follow medical advice
Drink lots of fluids and no alcohol
Keep everything else out of your nose (duh, I know. But it must be said)
Avoid sudden head movements.
posted by bilabial at 3:27 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I pack peoples' noses. I generally have them get the packing out in 3 to 4 days, depending on the nosebleed and person. I would certainly not expect the patients for whom I do the packing to have pain not manageable by Tylenol. If it really hurt THAT much I'd be worried there was something wrong. If it's one of the inflatable packings, it's supposed to be "inflated to comfort", meaning until inflating it more isn't tolerable, so if it's intolerable, you could ask your doc about using a 10cc syringe to take a slight bit of air out of it. I don't do the removal, but I would be surprised if there were any restrictions after removal unless it started re-bleeding significantly or if you lost so much blood in the first place that you were very anemic. (IANYD/TINMA - and it seems like if you got your nose packed or someone you know did, they ought to have a doc who they got discharge instructions from?)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:45 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Wherever you got the packed nose from is who you should call. I'd say it is strange about the pain. You should always ask the professional or a nurse who can look at your chart for the best advice. This is what nurse hotlines are for.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:04 PM on May 21, 2015

I recently had my nose packed in an ER after a 6-hours-and-counting nosebleed. The doc used cotton (or whatever fiber), not inflatables. It hurt like almighty hell going in, but I am particularly sensitive to ENT procedures after breaking my nose multiple times and two surgeries.

The packing stayed in for 3 days and was removed without incident in my ENT's office. The pain was manageable by OTC meds but there was nothing to be done about the discomfort of having giant fucking tampons jammed in there up to my brain.

I felt totally fine after removal. I did in fact drive myself home. I don't remember the doc giving me any warnings until I asked about weightlifting. He said no lifting anything heavier than 15 pounds for a couple of weeks. Not sure whether that had more to do with the errant anatomy of my nose and the cause of my bleed, or if that would be standard advice.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:04 AM on May 22, 2015

Response by poster: Hi - I want to thank everyone for the great answers.

The person with the nosebleed was my husband. It was done at the ER, and they told him the pain would be manageable with Tylenol, but it was not. After a horrible night (the pain kept him awake, and also he wears a CPAP, which he couldn't use), he first called the ENT the ER had told him to contact for removal, but they a) said the pain was normal, b) refused to prescribe stronger pain relief, and c) told him Thursday morning that they couldn't take it out until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend. Then he called his GP, who also told him the pain was normal, refused to prescribe anything, and told him they couldn't remove, only an ENT could. We finally found an ENT to remove it Friday morning, right before we were scheduled to leave for a weekend in VT.

I'm frustrated by the really gross dismissal of his pain (not to mention that nobody seemed to think his inability to sleep with his CPAP on was even worthy of conversation) and I'm relieved that its not the normal experience.
posted by anastasiav at 8:11 PM on May 26, 2015

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