Purpose: Epistaxis is a common medical emergency that may require admission to the emergency department (ED) and treatment by an otolaryngologist. Currently, there are no widely accepted indications for hospitalization, and the decision is based on personal experience. Methods: A retrospective study of 1171 medical records of patients with epistaxis treated at our tertiary medical center ED from 2013 to 2018 with no age limit. The presence of recurrent epistaxis, a posterior source of bleeding, the need for hospitalization, the need for blood transfusion, or surgical intervention defined severe clinical course. Results: The 1171 admissions included 230 recurrent admissions for a total of 941 patients (60% males) who were treated by an otolaryngologist. The average age was 57.6 in the adult population (>15) and 6.6 in the pediatric population (≤15). Of all patients, 39% had hypertension; 39% took antiplatelet/anticoagulation therapy; 63% came during winter—a significant risk factor; 34 (2.9%) had reduced hemoglobin levels of >1gr%, but only 7 received a blood transfusion; 131 (11%) were hospitalized, and 21 (1.8%) required surgical control of the bleeding. Age (OR 1.02; CI 1.01-1.023), male sex (OR 2.07; CI 1.59-2.69), hypertension (OR 1.76; CI 1.27-2.45), and antiplatelet/anticoagulation therapy (OR 2.53; CI 1.93–3.33, OR 1.65; CI 1.11–2.44, respectively), were significantly correlated with severe clinical course. Conclusion: Epistaxis is significantly more common and severe in older male patients with hypertension or antiplatelet/anticoagulation therapy. However, few need a blood transfusion or surgical intervention. In borderline cases with no definitive indication for hospitalization, we suggest adopting these factors as indications for hospitalization due to their marked influence on the clinical course. Routine coagulation tests are indicated in patients treated with warfarin or combined antiplatelet + anticoagulation therapy.
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- pediatric epistaxis