By Medicover Hospitals / 01 Apirl 2022

Home | Articles | Coughing Up Blood Is Not Always An Emergency: Know Other Causes Of Spitting Blood

Article Context:

  1. Causes
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment
  5. Prevention
  6. When to See a Doctor?
  • Seeing blood while you cough can be alarming, whether it's a large or small amount. Coughing up blood which is also known as hemoptysis can be very frightening. It can be perplexing at first. Is the blood genuinely flowing from the lungs, or is it coming from a nosebleed, throat, esophagus, or stomach? While hemoptysis is the most specific symptom of lung cancer, it is more typically caused by something innocuous.
    Let's take a look at the potential causes, what can be done to diagnose the underlying issue, and what treatment choices are available. We'll also go over when coughing up blood is an emergency and when it's not. Coughing up blood, even in small amounts can be harmful.
  • Causes of Coughing up Blood

    There are many things that make you cough up blood. Some of the common causes include:
    • Bronchitis
    • Lung Cancer
    • Damaged airways
    • Pneumonia
    • Tuberculosis
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    Other causes include: Congestive heart failure

    • Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions
    • Lung abscess
    • Prasitic Infection
    • Pulmonary Embolism
    • Blood thinners
    Know more about coughing up blood


  • When there is bleeding in the throat, trachea, or in large or tiny airways of the lungs, hemoptysis can develop. Many people have reported spitting up blood-streaked mucus as one of their symptoms. Coughed blood is frequently mixed with mucus and has a frothy look. It's critical to distinguish between blood that comes up via mouth and blood that comes up from other parts of the body.
  • Some common symptoms are:

    • Large amounts of blood coughed up
    • Shortness of breath
    • Significant blood loss
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Having a tracheostomy

    Diagnosis of Coughing up Blood

  • Coughing up blood can be moderate or severe, so it's critical to figure out what's causing the symptoms so you can get the help you need. The doctor will start by asking you, how much blood you've been coughing up, how long you've been coughing, and how much of it is mixed with mucus.
  • Following tests will be recommended by the doctor to be performed:
    • CT Scan or MRI scan
    • Chest X-Ray to identify the presence of tumours or fluids in the lungs
    • Lung Scan
    • Lung Biopsy
    • Bronchoscopy
    • Blood Count
    • Sputum culture of the lung excretions to look for infection
    • Blood clotting test
    • Urinalysis


  • Coughing up blood has a range of treatments. Cough suppressants can be used to treat mild and transient blood coughing. If the coughing up blood persists or worsens, then the patient should seek medical attention immediately.
    Once the reason for the coughing up blood is identified, the doctor will discuss the best treatment options with you, taking into account both the symptoms and the underlying condition. First, they might try embolizing (stopping) the bleeding artery or performing a bronchoscopy to stop the bleeding.
    If a tumour is determined to be the cause of the ailment, surgery and cancer therapy may be required. For pneumonia or tuberculosis, antibiotics may be administered. Steroids may be used to treat the bleeding caused by inflammation. Surgery may be done in a minimally invasive way (video-assisted thoracoscopic approach) or via an open procedure. The most common procedure is a removal of a wedge of lung tissue in the bleeding site.
  • Prevention for Coughing up Blood

  • Coughing up blood is a common sign of a disease, ailment, or condition. Ignoring the symptom may exacerbate the underlying cause.
    Prevention entails identifying the problem and receiving appropriate therapy. Some lifestyle modifications, such as quitting smoking or avoiding going outside during pollution can be beneficial.
    Ignore a persistent cough if you have it. Treating this can help prevent you from coughing up blood.
  • When to Visit a Doctor?

    Coughing up blood should always be addressed to the doctor since it could be a sign of a serious respiratory problem.
    If you're experiencing any of the following problems, seek quick assistance:
    • Coughing up blood following a fall or injury to the chest
    • Cough up more than a few teaspoons of blood
    • Blood in urine and stool
    • If you experience, chest pain, dizziness, fever, lightheadedness and shortness of breath
    Timely action can prevent serious consequences of this symptom. Spitting blood should never be ignored in children. Be aware, be safe!