Epistaxis is a common Emergency Department (ED) complaint with over 450,000 visits per year and a lifetime incidence of 60% (Gifford 2008, Pallin 2005). Posterior epistaxis is considerably less common than anterior epistaxis and represents about 5-10% of all presentations. Many patients with posterior epistaxis will be managed with a posterior pack and admitted for further monitoring. Traditional teaching argues that:
- Patients with posterior packs should be given prophylactic antibiotics to prevent serious infectious complications.
- Patients with posterior packs should be admitted to the ICU for cardiac monitoring as they are at risk for serious bradydysrhythmias.