Entries in Nose (2)


Arizona Woman Nearly Dies as Brain Fluid Leaks Out Nose

Courtesy of The University of Arizona College of Medicine(NEW YORK) -- For more than four months, a clear, tasteless liquid leaked out of Aundrea Aragon's nose whenever she bent over, but doctors reassured her that it was only allergies.

"It wasn't even dripping, it was pouring out of my nose," said Aragon, a 35-year-old mother from Tucson, Ariz.  "If I looked down or bent over, it would literally pore out of the left side of my nose.  I had no control at all."

Even though doctors "blew off" her concerns, Aragon said that "deep down," she knew something was seriously wrong.

And there was: Her brain was leaking cerebrospinal fluid through two cracks in the back of her sphenoid sinus, a condition that could have killed her.

"I am still kind of in shock," said Aragon, who had surgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center in October.  "I was very fortunate.  They said I could get meningitis and go into a coma and die."

Aragon's condition -- a cerebrospinal fluid leak -- is rare, occurring in only 1 in 100,000 or 1 in 200,000 patients, according to her surgeon, Dr. Alexander G. Chiu, chief of the division of otolaryngology.

Most often it is seen in overweight patients who have high cranial pressure, and the sinus "pops open."  Sometimes a car accident or head trauma can cause a tear.

"In her case, it was more of a freak thing," said Chiu, who has treated only about 100 cases.

The danger isn't the loss of fluid, according to Chiu, but rather infection.

"You are constantly making brain fluid," he said.  "It can be fatal when there is a connection between the cleanest part of the body, the brain, and the dirtiest part, the nose."

Chiu and his colleague, neurosurgeon Dr. G. Michael Lemole, used an endoscopic method to access the sinus and patch up the two sinus cracks.  They entered the sinus through the nose and grafted skin over the leaky spots.

"Scar tissue grows over the graft and it protects her for the rest of her life," Chiu said.  "It shouldn't happen again -- she's so young."

Still, Aragon will have to be monitored several times a year.

"She's not leaking anymore, but we have to make sure she doesn't spring a new leak," her doctor said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Dies From Severe Nosebleed

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The death of a 47-year-old British man who suffered a severe nosebleed has medical examiners perplexed. Robert Ford of Gravesend, Kent, was walking with a friend when the nosebleed started, the U.K. Daily Mail reported Friday.

The bleeding was so severe that Ford went to a local medical center. After the bleeding stopped, doctors told Ford to go home and put ice on his nose. But hours later, he was dead.

An inquest into Ford’s death determined that blood had blocked his airways, causing suffocation. But how the blood got there -- since the nosebleed had apparently stopped -- is a mystery.

“This was certainly an odd case,” Dr. Olaf Biedrzycki, a pathologist who testified at the inquest, told the Daily Mail. “We don’t really know how to explain it. I’ve looked very hard for a source of the blood and could not find it.”

Ford’s father, Michael, called 911 after finding his son on the floor with a pool of blood around his mouth, according to the Daily Mail. There were also dime-sized spots of blood throughout the house.

The coroner ruled the death a result of natural causes.

The lining of the nose contains tiny blood vessels that can rupture when dry or irritated. Cold weather, a scratch, certain chemicals and allergies can trigger bleeding.

“We see an increased frequency of nosebleeds as the weather turns cooler because people start heating their homes,” said Dr. Jason Homme, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic. “When the humidity goes down, the nasal lining is drier and more prone to irritation.”

In children, Homme said, the most common cause of nosebleeds is digital trauma -- nose picking.

Most nosebleeds aren’t serious. But in rare instances, they can signal more serious problems like bleeding disorders.

Nosebleeds resulting from trauma, such as a sports injury or a car accident, should also be examined by a physician.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio