The Foley catheter in the management of epistaxis

Int J Clin Pract. 2001 Jan-Feb;55(1):14-5.


The Foley urinary catheter has been used in the management of epistaxis for many years, yet it has never been designed or licensed for this purpose. We performed a telephone questionnaire of senior house officers in 90 ENT departments in England and Wales. The aim was to determine how many departments used the Foley catheter for epistaxis management, whether licensed nasal balloon devices were available and if there had been any complications associated with their use. Eighty-three (92%) ENT departments in the study used the Foley catheter for epistaxis management and 44 (49%) departments had licensed balloon devices available. Only 22% of ENT senior house officers questioned were aware that the Foley catheter was not licensed for use in the nose. Most complications associated with the use of nasal balloon devices appear to be due to Foley catheters.

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheterization / standards
  • Catheterization / statistics & numerical data*
  • England
  • Epistaxis / complications
  • Epistaxis / therapy*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Licensure
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wales