Coughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for coughing up blood from the breathing tract.
Is It Dangerous Coughing Up Bloody Mucus?
Coughing up blood is not the same as bleeding from the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract.
Blood mucus that creates a cough typically looks bubbly due to the fact that it is mixed with air and mucus. It is frequently bright red, although it might be rust-colored. Sometimes the mucus includes just streaks of blood.
The outlook depends on what is triggering the problem. Many people succeed with treatment to treat the symptoms and the underlying disease. People with severe hemoptysis may pass away.
What Causes Coughing Up Bloody Mucus
A variety of conditions, illness, and medical tests might make you cough with bloody mucus. These consist of:
- Pneumonia or other lung infections.
- Breathing food or other material into the lungs (pulmonary goal).
- Really thin blood (from blood thinning medications, frequently at greater than suggested levels).
- Lung edema.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Embolism in the lung
- Inflammation of the throat from violent coughing (percentages of blood).
- Bronchoscopy with biopsy.
- Injury to the arteries of the lungs.
- Inflammation of the blood vessels in the lung (vasculitis).
You may spend percentages of bright red blood, or frothy blood-streaked mucus (saliva and phlegm). The blood is generally from your lungs and is often the outcome of extended coughing or a chest infection.
If the blood is dark and consists of littles food or what look like coffee grounds, it may be coming from your digestive system. This is a more major issue and you should go to medical facility straight away. Read more about vomiting blood.
Treatments for Coughing Up Bloody Mucus
Treating blood-tinged sputum will count on treating the underlying condition triggering it. In many cases, treatment can likewise include decreasing inflammation or other associated symptoms you’re experiencing.
Treatments for bloody mucus from coughing can include:
- oral antibiotics for infections like bacterial pneumonia
- antivirals, such as Tamiflu, to decrease the length or seriousness of a virus
- cough suppressants for an extended cough
- consuming more water, which can help flush out staying phlegm
- surgery to treat a tumor or blood clot
For people who are spending huge quantities of blood and bloody mucus, treatment first focuses on stopping the bleeding, preventing aspiration, which happens when foreign material enters your lungs, and after that treating the underlying cause.
Call your doctor before using any cough suppressants, even if you understand the underlying reason for your symptoms. Cough suppressants can cause respiratory tract blockages or keep the sputum caught in your lungs, extending or getting worse an infection.
Home Remedies for Coughing Up Bloody Mucus
Medicines that stop coughing (cough suppressants) might assist if the problem comes from heavy coughing. These medications may lead to air passage clogs, so contact your healthcare service provider prior to using them.
Keep an eye on how long you spend blood, and how much blood is combined with the mucus. Call your supplier at any time you spend blood, even if you do not have any other symptoms.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Get medical help right now if you cough up blood and have:
- A cough that produces more than a few teaspoons of blood.
- Blood in your urine or stools.
- Chest pain.
- Severe shortness of breath.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
In an emergency, your provider will give you treatments to manage your condition. The provider will then ask you questions about your cough, such as:
- How much blood are you coughing up? Are you coughing up large quantities of blood at a time?
- Do you have blood-streaked mucus (phlegm)?
- The number of times have you spent blood and how frequently does it happen?
- The length of time has the problem been going on? Is it even worse at long times such as in the evening?
- What other symptoms do you have?
The provider will do a complete physical exam and check your chest and lungs. Tests that may be done consist of:
- Chest CT scan.
- Pulmonary arteriography.
- Test to see if the blood clots normally, such as PT or PTT.
- Sputum culture and smear.
- Chest x-ray.
- Lung scan.
- Lung biopsy.
- Complete blood count.
- Bronchoscopy, a test to see the airways.