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Coughing Up Blood: Causes, Tests, Treatments, and More

Coughing up blood can take different forms: The blood may be bright red or pink and frothy, or it may be mixed with mucus. Also known as hemoptysis (he-MOP- tih-sis), coughing up blood, even in small amounts, can be alarming. However, producing a little blood-tinged sputum isn't uncommon and usually isn't serious. Coughing up blood can be alarming, but isn't necessarily a sign of a serious problem. In up to one in five cases investigated, no cause is found. It's more likely to be a cause for concern the older you are, particularly if you smoke. You should see your GP as soon as possible if you cough up blood. 8 Sep You coughed up blood; now what? Here are five common explanations for this frightening symptom.

Coughing up blood haemoptysisor blood in your sputum should always be treated as a warning sign.

Although it may be a sign of something sinister, it can also be due to something very common and treatable like a chest infection. In children, an inhaled foreign body like a small toy could also be the cause a bloody cough. In all cases, one should be examined by a doctor as it may also indicate more serious, less common, causes such as:.

The blood that you cough up can present in different ways. It can be streaky, frothy or frank pure blood. Streaky lines of blood in phlegm Infections like bronchitis and pneumonia present in this way.


If it persists and is associated with weight loss and night sweats it may be due to TB. Remember, you can contract TB anywhere — even when on the train or shopping as it is spread through the cough droplets of an infected person.


Pink, frothy sputum This is very suggestive of fluid overload in the lungs pulmonary oedema. This can be due to heart failure like after a heart attack or kidney failure. Considered an emergency, when coughing up pink frothy sputum you should seek help immediately as this can be potentially fatal.

Frank blood Coughing up what looks like pure blood is a concerning sign. It can be classified as follows:. Where TB caused big cavities in the lung, blood vessels may also be damaged, leading to very significant bleeding.

I have been coughing pretty violetly trying to cough up and clear my lungs so i'm thinking its just a blood vessle that got ruptured. It is most often bright red, although it may be rust-colored. And it seems to be going away as I can feel the phelgm in there beggining to clear up. A test of the number of white and red blood cells in the blood, along with platelets cells that help blood clot.

In the case of massive amounts of blood see above 2. When coughing up blood is associated with back or chest pain 3. If you notice weight loss or fatigue 4. When you have a strong smoking history 5. When you are short of breath even at rest. How do link know if someone is coughing up blood or vomiting blood?

Coughing up blood - Mayo Clinic

It is very important to distinguish between coughing up blood and vomiting blood. When coughing up blood the blood comes from the respiratory system, while vomiting blood indicates bleeding from the stomach or oesophagus or even the intestines. This is how you know the difference:. Khayelitsha clinic leading the way in TB treating. Can you catch TB from animals.

Coughing Up A Little Bit Of Blood

Man coughing severely by Shutterstock. For World TB Daythe United Nations, the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization are calling on all governments and health organisations to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress towards eliminating the disease as a public health burden. Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards Coughing Up A Little Bit Of Blood the Oppenheimer Award, and has published over peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice.

Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content. Coughing up blood can be a sign that something is seriously wrong, but it isn't always a reason to panic.

Coughing Up A Little Bit Of Blood

Find out when to worry, and what be wrong. Related articles Conditions associated with a cough Some conditions may present with coughing or have cough as part of their presenting symptoms.

What to Read Next. Comment on this story. Comment 0 characters remaining. Cough Expert Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards including the Oppenheimer Award, and has published over peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. Questions posted to Cough Expert. To prevent spam please solve this simple math problem:

The symptom usually clears up once you give up smoking. In some cases, further tests may be required to find out where the blood is coming from. Add symptoms to narrow your search.