A nasal fracture typically occurs if an individual was struck in the face by an object such as sports equipment. The damage can occur either from a direct blow to the anterior part of the nose or sideways.
Who are at risk?
A nasal fracture is likely to occur among those who engage in sports involving direct physical contact. A damaged nose is quite prevalent in soccer, basketball or football due to contact with the head, elbow or shoulder.
Any sport that involves balls that fly at high speeds increases the risk for a nasal fracture, particularly softball or baseball.
Most cases of nasal fractures result to bleeding. The blood might originate from both the interior of the nose from the fracture and outside the nose due to abrasions or lacerations from the impact.
The best way to check for a nasal fracture is the alignment of the nose. Check the bridge of the nose if it appears straight. The nose might appear crushed or irregular. The airway might be even congested which makes it difficult to breathe via both nostrils.
Over time, the tissue adjacent the nose and beneath the eyes start to swell. Discoloration will start to set in and increase during a 48-hour period.
Immediate care for a nasal fracture
Proper care must be provided to ensure that the individual did not sustain a serious injury to the head. Any force that can break the bone in the face can also result to a concussion or even damage to the brain.
If the individual is conscious and bleeding, the initial step is to control the bleeding. Apply gauze on the nose using mild pressure. The individual should be in a seated position with the head slightly tilted forward so that the blood will drain out of the nose.
In case the individual is conscious but lying on the ground and currently bleeding, slowly roll him/her to the side so that the blood drains out onto the ground. If a neck or head injury is likely, simply leave the individual in the spot that you found him/her and get in touch with emergency services.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a nasal fracture is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage broken bones including a nasal fracture by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.