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Ann Emerg Med. 2005 Feb;45(2):134-9.

Comparison of nasal tampons for the treatment of epistaxis in the emergency department: a randomized controlled trial.

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1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

Nasal tampons are commonly used to stop bleeding, yet their insertion is painful. We compare the pain of insertion and removal of 2 commonly used nasal tampons.

METHODS:

This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in 1 urban and 1 suburban emergency department (ED). Subjects were a convenience sample of adult ED patients with active epistaxis requiring insertion of a nasal tampon, regardless of coagulation status. Pretreatment of the nasal mucosa was performed using an aerosolized lidocaine-Neo-Synephrine combination. Patients were randomized to tamponade with a single Rapid Rhino or Rhino Rocket nasal tampon. The pain and ease of insertion and success of tamponade were recorded. Tampon removal was performed after 1 to 3 days, and the pain and ease of removal, as well as the presence of any bleeding, were noted. Patients rated pain of insertion and removal on a previously validated 100-mm visual analogue pain scale (100=worst pain). Physician ease of insertion and removal was recorded on a 5-point Likert scale. Continuous data are presented as means and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS:

We evaluated 40 patients evenly distributed between study groups and sites. Median patient age was 61 years (interquartile range 48 to 79 years), and 33% were female patients. Coagulopathy was present in 10 (25%) patients. Baseline characteristics were similar in both treatment groups. The mean pain of insertion of the Rapid Rhino (30 mm, 95% CI 18 to 41 mm) was significantly less than with the Rhino Rocket (48 mm, 95% CI 34 to 61 mm; mean difference 18 mm, 95% CI 1 to 35 mm). The mean pain of removal of the Rapid Rhino (11 mm, 95% CI 1 to 21 mm) was also lower than with the Rhino Rocket (23 mm, 95% CI 13 to 33 mm; mean difference 12 mm, 95% CI -1 to 25 mm). The Rapid Rhino was also easier to insert and remove and had a lower incidence of recurrent bleeding after removal than the Rhino Rocket. Rates of successful tamponade were similar in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSION:

The Rapid Rhino nasal tampon is less painful to insert and easier to remove than the Rhino Rocket, whereas both are similarly effective at stopping nosebleeds.

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