Blood in Sputum or Hemoptysis

Q: Sir, I have problem of dry cough since last 2 months. After taking antibiotics, it has subsided now. But since last 4 days, I have been seeing some amount of blood few times while spitting after cough. This does not come every time.  I got blood and sputum tests, all reports are normal. X-ray is also normal.

Although I get cough every alternate year but not for such a long period. This time my cough has subsided but still the blood in sputum is there.

I have consulted doctor who told me it’s an infection. I want to know few things:

1) I want to be sure it is not cancer.
2) What is the reason of spitting blood?
3) How can it be treated?
4) What precautions should I take?

Reply:
 
Blood in spit with or without cough, is to be taken seriously. Though you have got a few investigations done, further evaluation is still required to rule out various common causes of this symptom. 

Common Causes of Blood in Sputum

Tuberculosis (TB)

This condition is the commonest. This is very prevalent in India. So get your sputum test for AFB done at the earliest. If you have already got this test done, it would be worth repeating it.
You may or may not have any other symptom of TB. Cough in TB is usually long. Mild to low fever with night sweats are common. 

Lung Cancer

Blood in sputum is one of the symptoms of this condition.  This type of malignancy is common among smokers.
Other symptoms include reduction in weight and long standing cough.

Infective Diseases

Aspergilloma, bronchiectasis or coccidioidomycosis.

Cystic Fibrosis

A condition where unwanted fibrosis occurs in the lung.
Only after getting investigated properly, a diagnosis would be possible.
Take Care,
Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Blood Coming Out With Cough

  1. Sud

    Sir, I have cough problem from a long time. A Lot of spit forms in mouth and thick sticky and whitish saliva forms in mouth. I also have breathing problems. Sometimes blood comes. I also face pain in chest and in back.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Blood coming out in sputum is an alarming symptom. You need to see a chest specialist at the earliest.

      Also, get your sputum checked up. Send it to a lab for culture.

      Reply
  2. Gracey

    Good day! I spitted dark sticky blood together with the saliva even, I don’t have cough. Last year, I experienced the same thing and x-ray was done but the result was clear (OK). Then went to ENT doctor and he said everything are clear. But I myself doubt. I felt that it comes from my throat. Then, on the other side, when I brush my teeth, it bleeds fresh so I felt that the sticky blood I spitted is not connected with the problem of my teeth. When I drink coffee, soft drinks or even after eating a meal or snack, I spitted blood too not sticky but felt it’s coming from my throat. Now I don’t know which doctor I’m going to. Can I request for a sputum examination even without the doctors advice? Waiting for reply. Thank you and God bless.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The source of blood may be in your oral cavity or the throat. May be your gums, any blood vessel in the mouth, pharynx, tonsil or some throat.

      You need to be thoroughly examined by an ENT doctor. It is advisable to go for check up and not ignore this symptom.

      Sputum examination is usually done on doctors advise. However, you may inquire about it at your hospital.

      Reply
  3. Jeff

    Hello, I did a half gram of cocaine, .25 on Thursday night, and .25 on Friday night. I messed up and feel terrible about my decision. I was consuming a lot of alcohol at the time. I have been clean since Saturday, not drinking any alcohol and staying away from all substances. I have my test next Monday giving me around ten days until drug test. Do you think I will pass? I am a very infrequent user of drugs.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Ten days are a good time span for detoxification. You need to be aggressive during this phase. Drink plenty of water.

      Consume good amounts of fruits and vegetables in your meals. Abstain from alcohol.

      You have a fair chance of passing the test.

      Reply
  4. sanjay kumar

    Sir, I have a problem.
    when I cough that time I blood. I don’t know what happen to me, before 3 year ago this problem same.
    But that time I drink a some medicine so I was feel better and I was no blood.
    but now same problem start. Sir can u help me plz?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any weight loss, fever, weakness or sweats at night time?

      Have you been investigated for T.B.?

      Reply