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Coughing Up Blood


Blood may be coughed up as a consequence of a variety of lung diseases. The blood may be bright red, pink and frothy, or mixed with mucous, depending on the severity of the injury.

Seeing blood while coughing may be frightening, no matter how much blood you coughed up. Coughing up blood i.e. hemoptysis is a common symptom of a medical issue. Depending on how much blood a person coughs up and how frequently they do so, the severity of their disease might vary substantially. It is possible that the blood you coughed up came from one of these places: the upper respiratory tract, nose, throat, and lungs. Mostly the blood comes from the lungs. Coughing for an extended period of time or a chest infection are common causes of hemoptysis. When you cough up blood, the bleeding usually stops on its own.

Your digestive tract may be the source of blood that is black and includes food particles or what seems to be coffee grounds. This has the potential to be a major issue as well. If you vomit blood, get medical attention right away.

Coughing that is bloody may be handled in a variety of ways. If the condition is caused by excessive coughing, cough suppressants (medications that inhibit coughing) may assist. These medications should only be taken after discussing with the doctor since they have the potential to create airway obstructions. It is important to record the length of time you coughed and the quantity of blood in mucus.


Blood coming from the respiratory system or lungs is often frothy as a result of the interaction between the blood and the air and mucus in the lungs. Depending on the kind, the color might vary from rusty brown to bright crimson. Depending on the conditions, the mucus may be completely blood-stained or may just include blood streaks.

The causes of coughing blood are listed below:

  • Pneumonia: It is a lung condition caused by a bacterial embolism or inflammation of one or both lungs’ tissue due to bacteria or virus.


  • Bronchitis: An infection irritates and inflames the principal airways (bronchi) of the lungs, causing inflammation and discomfort. Bacterial bronchitis is less prevalent than viral bronchitis, which may be caused by viruses.


  • Tuberculosis: TB is a life-threatening lung illness marked by fever and excessive perspiration. If found early enough, it is treatable with therapy.

When you cough, blood may come out of your nose, mouth, or throat if you have a serious nosebleed or bleeding from the mouth, throat, or sinuses.

The less common causes of hemoptysis are:

  • Bronchitis: the symptoms include chest discomfort and shortness of breath. A pulmonary embolism i.e. blood clot in the lungs is a life-threatening condition that produces severe chest pain and shortness of breath along with spitting blood.


  • Pulmonary edema: It is caused by fluid in the lungs that manifests as pink, frothy sputum, and it is more frequent in those who have heart conditions.


  • Smoking: It increases the risk of lung cancer, which is more likely if you are over 40 and smoke.


  • Use of anticoagulants: these are medications that help regulate blood clotting and may cause hemoptysis as an adverse effect.


Following are the conditions that are linked with the symptom of blood in sputum:

  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung abscess
  • Parasitic infection
  • Trauma to the chest
  • Injury to the lung arteries
  • Abnormal tissue deposits
  • Severe heart failure

Some of the medical procedures or tests may also cause the symptom. The procedures that lead to coughing blood are spirometry, laryngoscopy, tonsillectomy, upper airway biopsy, bronchoscopy and nasal procedures.


Your healthcare physician may inquire for the coughing up blood diagnosis about risky behaviors such as drug use or smoking. They may try to narrow down probable causes by examining other symptoms you’ve been having.

To determine the underlying reason, they may conduct any of the following tests:

  • An X-ray of your chest to look for tumors or fluid in your lungs.
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan of your chest to analyze X-ray findings or to accompany another procedure, such as a bronchoscopy.
  • A bronchoscopy to determine whether your airways are clear and to pinpoint the location of the bleeding.
  • A complete blood count (CBC) will be performed to determine how much blood you’ve lost and to look for symptoms of infection.
  • A sputum culture of your lung excretions to test for infectious reasons, such as bacteria or viruses that may be causing you to cough up blood.
  • A blood clotting test (coagulation test) is used to determine whether a bleeding condition causes your symptoms.
  • Pulmonary arteriography is a test that shows how blood flows through your lungs.
  • A urine and kidney function test will be performed to rule out autoimmune disorders affecting your lungs and kidneys.


To treat coughing up blood, you must first treat the underlying ailment that is generating it. Treatment may also include lowering inflammation or other related symptoms in some circumstances.

Coughing up blood treatment options include:

  • Medications taken orally for illnesses such as bacterial pneumonia
  • Antiviral drugs, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), to shorten or lessen the severity of a viral infection
  • Cough suppressants for a persistent cough drinking additional water to assist flush away residual sputum surgery to cure a lung tumor or blood clot

Treatment for patients coughing up large volumes of blood focuses initially on halting the bleeding and preventing aspiration, which occurs when foreign material enters the lungs. The treatment will then concentrate on addressing the underlying reason.

When To See A Doctor

If you cough up blood, see your doctor right away since it might be an indication of a severe respiratory problem. Get help right away if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Fall or chest injury
  • Cough up blood in large quantities
  • Blood in urine or stool

See your doctor in case of the following signs and symptoms:


This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about Coughing up blood or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.