Epistaxis and nasotracheal intubation - prevention with vasoconstrictor spray

  • J. O’Hanlon
  • K. W. Harper


Eighty patients having anaesthesia for oral surgery requiring nasal intubation were randomly allocated to be intubated with either a plain Magill red rubber or cuffed polyethylene endotracheal tube and in a double blind manner, to receive xylometazoline 0.1% vasoconstrictor nasal spray. The extent of any epistaxis occurring was assessed by an independent observer. With the Magill tube there was bleeding in one out of twenty patients in both the vasoconstrictor group and non vasoconstrictor group at intubation and no bleeding in either of the two groups at extubation. With the polyethylene tube sixteen out of twenty patients had bleeding in the non vasoconstrictor group. This improved to seven out of twenty with the administration of vasoconstrictor drops at intubation (chi square 10.2; p<0.01) in the polyethylene tube group. At extubation ten out of twenty patients had bleeding in the non vasoconstrictor group improving to two out of twenty with the administration of the vasoconstrictor (chi square 9.6; p,0.01). The use of the vasoconstrictor xylometazoline helped to reduce epistaxis that occurred during nasal intubation and further study into the type of endotracheal tube is recommended.


Cocaine Endotracheal Tube Nasal Spray Vasoconstrictor Group Nasotracheal Intubation 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O’Hanlon
    • 1
  • K. W. Harper
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnaestheticsCraigavon Area HospitalBelfast
  2. 2.Anaesthetic RegistrarCraigavon Area HospitalPortadown, Co. Armagh

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