First aid: Broken nose

When to get immediate attention

If a child has had a significant injury to the nose, and the parent is concerned that it might be broken, it should be evaluated immediately. The biggest concern with a nose that has had significant injury is the presence of a septal hematoma. A hematoma is a pocket of blood trapped within tissue. When this pocket of blood occurs within the tissues that separate the two sides of the nose, it is called a septal hematoma. When blood accumulates within this cartilage, the pressure can choke off the blood supply to the septum. Then the tissue dies causing the nose to "cave-in" creating what is called a saddle-nose deformity; so named because the nose makes the shape of a saddle. The only way to keep this from occurring is to have the nose immediately examined and the blood pocket surgically drained.

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