Over the period of a year, Merocel nasal packs were used routinely as the primary form of packing in patients referred to the hospital with epistaxis that had not resolved with simple measures, and in whom packing was thought to be required. Their effectiveness was assessed. The packing was usually performed by inexperienced senior house officers. The Merocel packs successfully controlled bleeding in 91.5 per cent of the patients in whom they were used. Use of the correct insertion technique is very important but is very easy to learn and perform. The actual insertion takes only a couple of seconds. Discomfort during insertion, whilst in situ and on removal was assessed. Merocel nasal packing is an effective form of first line treatment in patients with epistaxis.