Coughing Blood: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments

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Many people neglect the symptoms of coughing blood, however, this needs a proper medical diagnosis. In many cases, it can be the symptoms of some life-threatening conditions like cancer. As soon as you notice any symptoms, get in touch with your doctor who will examine the situation. If the symptoms are due to bronchitis, there is no need to worry too much as it can be easily managed with proper treatment. You should also examine if you are using any form of medication that has blood-thinning side effects as this can also cause blood coughing symptoms in many individuals. This condition is also called Hemoptysis and it can be treated effectively depending on the underlying condition that is causing the symptom.

Symptoms of Coughing Blood:

–  The most obvious symptom of blood coughing will be visible in the form of blood when you vomit or when you spit. In mild cases, you will have to carefully observe the blood in the sputum and it can even get diluted due to saliva and not appear dark red in colour.

–  If you are coughing persistently, you need to be watchful about blood in the sputum and this can be very much visible to the naked eye.

–  It can also be accompanied by severe pain in the chest region and cause persistent coughing.

–  Some people also experience breathlessness and this can get aggravated when they are working hard physically.

–  It can also cause mild fever along with symptoms of nausea and vomiting in many cases.

–  Many patients also complain about increased heart rate due to excessive coughing and you should be careful when you are having some or all of the symptoms.

Causes of Coughing Blood:

–  In some cases, the inflammation of the lungs or the airways can cause this condition and this is not a serious problem as it can be treated with simple medication. When the cough does not go away for many days and weeks, it can cause significant inflammation of the airways and this can lead to small bleeding that will come out when you are coughing with a lot of pressure.

–  However, in other cases, serious health conditions can be related to blood coughing and you should never neglect this symptom. It can also be the result of pneumonia or tuberculosis. For this reason, you should immediately get in touch with your doctor to analyze the symptoms and get proper treatment for such underlying conditions.

–  When there is any blood clot in the lungs, it can sometimes come out when you are persistently coughing and this appears as symptoms of blood coughing in many individuals.

–  In the same manner, when there is an injury to the chest region, it can cause trauma to the lungs or the airways and result in bleeding. You have to take immediate measures to stop this bleeding as it can damage the lungs in the long run.

–  This can happen even when you are suffering from bronchitis and you need to get treated in order to stop blood in the cough.

–  In extreme cases, this can also be due to lung cancer and this needs emergency medical assistance as it can cause other complications. This may not show up in the early stages of lung cancer and it usually appears in the final stages when cancer has become malignant and spread to other regions of the body.

–  You should also know that using certain blood thinners as medication for some health conditions can also lead to symptoms of blood coughing. If there is no other way but to use such medication, you need to discuss the symptoms with your doctor and try to choose alternate medication.

Diagnosis of Coughing Blood:

–  In this situation, different diagnostic methods are used as it can be due to various causes. In order to begin the treatment, the actual cause of this condition needs to be determined and many tests may be required to know the details about this condition.

–  The first stage of diagnosis begins with a physical examination and doctors may even consider the medical history of the patient to know more about the condition. In this manner, the overall problems with the lungs can also be diagnosed and further methods may be suggested based on the results of this test.

–  By taking the X-ray of the chest region, problems with the lungs like inflammation or other conditions can be identified. If this is the case, then it is not considered a serious problem as it can be easily treated with medication. In some cases, even buildup of fluid in the chest region can cause excessive coughing and this can lead to some amount of bleeding in that region. It will usually be a temporary problem and can be handled with proper medication.

–  When the chest X-ray does not yield proper results, a CT scan of the chest region is conducted and this can identify bleeding of the airways and other serious conditions that may be causing bleeding in the chest region. The bronchoscopy test that will use a tube with a camera is conducted in this situation and this will give a complete view of the inner region of the chest and it becomes easy to identify the condition.

–  After this, a blood sample may be taken to identify any other cause of this condition. The proper working of blood clotting mechanism is also observed in this manner. The blood test will also identify any changes in blood clotting and this can usually be the cause for coughing blood in many cases.

–  Along with this, the urine sample is also tested and this will show up abnormalities in the kidney and other problems. In rare cases, even low levels of oxygen in the blood can also lead to this condition and this is also tested through the blood gas test.


–  To begin with, you need to understand that blood in the cough is not a condition by itself and it is the symptom of some underlying condition. In this regard, you should always try to find the cause of this symptom and get it under control.

–  The general precautions you can take in this regard include not smoking as this can damage the lungs and also affect the airways in the long run. In most cases, consistent smoking for a few years will damage the lungs and make it prone to inflammation. This can cause blood coughing in many individuals and you will have to quit smoking if you want to avoid this problem in the future.

–  Apart from that, you should also maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet as this will help you to avoid various diseases that can trigger this symptom in your body. When the level of oxygen in the blood is not up to the mark, it can result in blood coughing and you should maintain an active lifestyle to have a proper oxygen supply in your blood.

–  If other underlying conditions are causing this problem, the only way to avoid blood coughing in the future is to treat the condition. This can ensure that you will not face such symptoms in the future.


–  The treatment for this problem depends on the underlying condition that is causing this symptom and you need to provide timely treatment for such conditions.

–  If you are having blood coughing symptoms due to pneumonia or other inflammation of the lungs, using certain antibiotics can provide good relief in the long run. In this situation, you need not worry too much about temporary symptoms as they will go away within a few weeks once you are treated with antibiotics for such conditions. The same treatment will be suitable in the event of symptoms arising due to tuberculosis.

–  If the inflammation is not coming under control even after few weeks, even steroids may be prescribed to control the inflammation. However, this cannot be used as a treatment in the long run due to its various side effects and it is usually used only to bring the situation under control in quick time. As soon as some improvement is seen, you may be put off steroids and regular antibiotics may be continued until the conditions are completely treated.

–  If the symptoms are due to lung cancer and other complicated conditions, even chemotherapy may be suggested to control the spreading of cancerous cells in the body. In most cases, even radiation therapy is accompanied with this treatment to bring some stability in the overall health of the patient.

–  Many people using blood thinning medication face such issues and they need to be very careful as this can cause coughing blood symptoms and even lead to severe loss of blood in the long run. If you are having this symptom for more than a week, you need to change the medication or go for a blood transfusion process to get some relief.

–  If the exact location of the bleeding is found inside the chest region, the bronchoscopy procedure will be used wherein a balloon will be injected at the place to stop bleeding. This can provide immediate relief from blood coughing symptoms. When the bleeding is due to some arteries that are not very important for the vital organs of the body, they are blocked using surgical methods and other arteries will be able to support the normal functioning of the body.

–  In extreme cases, when blood coughing is due to severe damage to the lungs, surgery may be performed and the affected lung can be removed to save the patient from excessive blood loss. This can have long-term implications and even though blood coughing will stop in this situation, it can cause other complications in the future.

Complications of Coughing Blood:

–  In this situation, you should be worried about blood loss and this can lead to severe complications in quick time.

–  When too much blood is lost due to this condition, it can lead to oxygen deficiency in the body and cause failure of vital organs when proper treatment is not provided in a timely manner.

–  In extreme cases, it can even lead to death when the blood loss is severe and it is not given emergency treatment.

–  You should also be very watchful about persistent coughing when it is accompanied by mild bleeding as this can be a clear symptom of lung cancer.

–  Some patients also complain about sudden weight loss due to this condition. Note that the weight loss can also be severe when blood loss is in high quantity and you should always treat this as an emergency condition. It can also be the symptom of end-stage cancer in a few cases.


Myth #1: Coughing Blood leads to fatal consequences

This is not always true as coughing blood symptom can also be due to mild infection of the chest region. In some cases, when tuberculosis or bronchitis is causing these symptoms, you can get quick relief by treating the conditions with antibiotics. In this situation, there is no need to treat coughing blood separately and the symptom will subside on its own within a few weeks.

Myth #2: Hemoptysis goes away on its own

It need not be true in all the cases as it can progress quickly when it is caused due to severe diseases and lead to complications. In extreme cases, it can even lead to death when proper treatment is not provided at the right time. Always ensure that you provide emergency treatment to reduce the symptoms.

Myth #3: Hemoptysis affects only smokers

Many people assume that they are not likely to get affected by coughing blood when they are not into smoking. While it is true that smoking increases the chances of getting such symptoms due to lung infection, this condition can affect anyone when they are affected with cancer and other deadly diseases.


You should always treat this symptom as a medical emergency when you notice it for more than a few days. Remember that this can also be an indication of lung cancer and other severe diseases and even lead to fatal consequences when the blood loss is very severe. However, when it is due to lung infection or other minor ailments, it will usually go away on its own within a few weeks after proper treatment is given to the underlying condition. In this way, the severity of the underlying condition determines the overall effects of this symptom in the long run.

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