A 22-year-old man has been struck on the bridge of the nose during an altercation outside a nightclub last night. He had a brief episode of epistaxis at the time, which stopped after pressure was applied to the nose. He is complaining of a painful, deformed nose and he is finding it difficult to breathe through his nose. On examining his nose, you see the following:
2. How should this patient be managed?
Management is as follows:
- Infiltration with local anaesthetic, e.g. 1% lidocaine
- Drainage / needle aspiration of the haematoma
- Application of firm nasal packing to prevent re-accumulation
- Broad spectrum antibiotics
Potential complications include the following
- Septal abscess formation
- Cartilage necrosis
- Collapse of nasal bridge (‘saddle nose’)
He should be followed up in the ENT clinic in one week for assessment of nasal fracture and the septal haematoma.
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