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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Mar;64(3):511-8.

Epistaxis: diagnosis and treatment.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN 98431, USA.


Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are called on to evaluate and treat various emergencies, including acute epistaxis. Epistaxis is relatively benign in nature, but it can produce a serious, life-threatening situation. It has been estimated that up to 60% of the population has had at least 1 episode of epistaxis throughout their lifetime. Of this group, 6% seek medical care to treat epistaxis, with 1.6 in 10,000 requiring hospitalization. With fewer and fewer otorhinolaryngologists participating on hospital call schedules, it is critical for the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to be familiar with the anatomy, diagnosis, and treatment of acute epistaxis and associated medical concerns. Considerations concerning mechanism of injury, coagulopathies, and potential treatment options need to be assessed quickly and accurately to ensure the most appropriate treatment and positive outcome for the patient. The need to treat epistaxis in an emergent setting will often require the involvement of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. By reviewing the anatomy, potential complications arising from associated medical conditions, and treatment options, patients can be accurately assessed and treated appropriately.

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