The role of routine coagulation studies in the management of patients suffering from epistaxis is unclear. In an attempt to address this issue the case notes of all emergency admissions for epistaxis to a large Scottish teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed over a one-year period. One hundred and forty patients (63 male, 77 female) were admitted between January and December 1998. The patients who had coagulation studies were identified and their results analysed. A total of 121 patients (86.4 per cent) had coagulation studies performed. Of these, 10 (8.3 per cent) had abnormal results and all were taking warfarin or a combination of warfarin and aspirin. No other coagulation abnormalities were identified. This study supports the view that there does not appear to be a role for routine coagulation studies in patients admitted with epistaxis. The investigation for potential haemostatic disorders should be performed when clinically indicated and, if necessary, in consultation with the haematology service.
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