Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is one of 14 trusts across England and Scotland now recruiting patients to the NoPac study.
NoPac is trialling the novel use of a medicine called Tranexamic Acid (TXA) to reduce the need for nasal packing to treat nose bleeds. The National Institute for Health Research awarded funding for this study through its Research for Patient Benefit Programme.
NoPac Principal Investigator at Royal Cornwall Hospital and Consultant in Emergency Medicine Dr Mark Jadav said: “Nose bleeds (known as “epistaxis” by doctors) are an extremely common condition caused by a blood vessel bursting within the nose as a result of trauma, drying out or inflammation. Patients who come to hospital emergency departments are frequently elderly or on anticoagulant (blood thinning) treatments.
“In most cases the bleed can be resolved by simple measures like applying firm pressure with the thumb and index finger to the soft front part of the nose, the use of ice packs on the bridge of the nose and leaning forward. Hospital Emergency Departments use chemicals to shrink (“constrict”) and seal (“cauterise”) the bleeding vessels. If bleeding cannot be stopped patients usually undergo nasal packing – inserting a sponge or balloon into the nose to press from the inside – which is an extremely uncomfortable experience and can require a hospital stay for several days.
“There can also be complications from nasal packing including infection, sleep apnoea and further bleeding on removal of the packing. Avoiding this procedure with a simple new treatment would be very welcome.”
He added: “Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been used in a variety of clinical and research settings to stabilise blood clots and stem bleeding. TXA could provide a promising alternative treatment to the current nasal packing practice and greatly enhance the experience for patients in the future.”