Objectives/hypothesis: Otolaryngologists are frequently consulted for the evaluation and treatment of pediatric epistaxis. There is a lack of consensus as to the optimal approach to this problem. This study evaluated an approach used to evaluate and treat patients referred on an outpatient basis.
Study design: Retrospective study.
Methods: Charts from 90 patients referred for the treatment of epistaxis were reviewed.
Results: Anemia was identified in 22% of patients. An abnormal coagulation study was identified in 7.8% of patients. Computed tomography (CT) imaging of the sinuses was obtained in nearly 90% of patients and revealed no suspicious masses. Opacification of the sinuses consistent with sinusitis was commonly seen. The majority of cases were resolved by the first follow-up visit with a topical nasal emollient.
Conclusions: The outpatient evaluation of epistaxis should include a screen for anemia and coagulopathy. Routine CT imaging of the sinuses is unhelpful and is not recommended. The majority of cases are easily treated with rehydration of the nasal mucosa. Consideration should be given to rhinosinusitis as a co-existing factor in patients with epistaxis.