[Epistaxis caused by leeches].Harefuah. 1989 Sep; 117(5-6):141-3.H
Among the conditions which can cause epistaxis are intranasal or nasopharyngeal foreign bodies. A living foreign body, or parasite, in the nose or nasopharynx is rare in western countries, but in other parts of the world is a fairly common cause of epistaxis. In the past 5 years 17 cases of epistaxis due to infestation with leeches were treated in our 2 departments. In 14 patients, 9-27 years old, the complaint was of recurrent episodes of mild epistaxis and blood-spitting several days before admission. 3 patients were admitted hemorrhaging profusely from the nose and mouth. Examination showed a green-brown mass protruding from the nasopharynx behind the soft palate, which is every case was a blood-engorged leech. Treatment consisted of removing the leech by applying a forceps to the middle of the leech's body and giving a quick pull. Bleeding ceased immediately after removal of the leech. All the patients had drunk water from brooks, streams or fresh water lakes. Therefore, in areas in which leeches are present only boiled or filtered water should be drunk.