A Rare But Important Entity: Epistaxis in Infants

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Background Epistaxis is a common emergency department (ED) complaint; however, this entity is rare among children younger than 2 years of age. In this age group, epistaxis may be a presenting sign of a bleeding disorder or nonaccidental trauma. Case Report We present a case of a 2-month-old infant who was evaluated in the pediatric ED for epistaxis and discharged home. The infant returned 2 days later with facial swelling and irritability, and was found to have significant head trauma. In this article we review the epidemiology and differential diagnoses for epistaxis among infants, as well as the initial approach to the evaluation of this uncommon clinical entity in this age group. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? Potential etiologies for epistaxis among infants and young children include severe systemic disease and nonaccidental trauma. Given its rarity and possible clinical significance, the approach to epistaxis differs in this age group. Emergency physicians should screen for and exclude a bleeding disorder while also having a very low threshold for a nonaccidental trauma evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • epistaxis
  • infant
  • nonaccidental trauma


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