here's more info. from wikipedia.
if a person has been having frequent nose bleeds
, it is most likely caused by an exposed blood vessel in their nose. even if the nose is not bleeding at the time, it is cauterized to prevent future bleeding. the different methods of cauterization include burning the affected area with acid, hot metal, lasers, or silver nitrate
. people often find such a procedure painful. sometimes liquid nitrogen
is used as a less painful alternative, though it is less effective. in the few countries that permit the use of cocaine
for medicinal purposes, it is occasionally used topically
to make this procedure less uncomfortable, cocaine being the only local anesthetic which also produces vasoconstriction
, making it ideal for controlling nosebleeds
they also use electrocautery for epistaxix.
on a personal note, i have had 2 episodes this past week of prolonged epistaxis. the first episode lasted longer than 60 minutes. i was out of town at the time and was treated in the er with eletrocautery. the second time, which occurred 4 days later, i went to and ent doc and was treated with chemical cautery (silver nitrate). no cocaine on either visit. hopefully this second time did the trick. neither one was any fun.