Medical Minute 3-10: Spray Stops Nosebleeds

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

It if has an engine and four wheels, it has a place in Jack Sardisco's heart, but since his youth, he's been dealing with a debilitating problem: chronic nosebleeds.

"I'm talking about full-sized bath towels, six or seven bath towels full of blood," said Jack Sardisco.

He inherited a disease called HHT. His blood vessels don't work properly.

"I was on the ground on the floor of the bathroom, like that close from passing out," said Sardisco.

There are laser treatments, but they don't last.

"We didn't have a treatment. All we had was something to put a Band-Aid on it," said Terence Davidson, M.D., Director of UCSD Nasal Dysfunction Clinic.

Doctor Terrence Davidson is trying an off-label approach. He's using a cancer drug in low doses to stop the bleeding. The drug stops new blood vessel growth.

"All of a sudden, I was getting complete control for two years," said Terrence Davidson, M.D.

In a study, Doctor Davidson used Avastin on 10 patients. Injections -- which require surgery and anesthesia -- controlled bleeding for up to two years. A nose-spray form worked for four months. In three years he's used the treatment on more than 50 patients in all and seen no side effects.

"Never in my life have I been able to treat people from a nosebleed a day, and now all of a sudden, that's routine," said Dr. Davidson.

Jack comes into the office for a dose of the spray every couple of months. He's had one nosebleed in seven months -- one of his best years so far.

"I'm really hopeful that I can live my life, a normal life," said Jack Sardisco.

For more information: Ivanhoe Broadcast News2745 W. Fairbanks Ave.Winter Park, FL 32789http://www.ivanhoe.comMelissa Medalie, Supervising Producer Medical Newsmmedalie@ivanhoe.comDirect Line: (407) 691-1516Viewer Line: (407) 740-0789 ext. 579

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