We all are somewhere scared when blood comes out from out body. It may be during injury, cough, clotting or because of some accident. It is never considered a good sign and could create various problems in the body. Coughing up blood is even more serious because there are lot of possibilities and we do not know the exact cause of it. It is an alarming situation and you need a doctor’s attention as earliest as possible. In the mean time you need to understand why does it happen and what you can do about it. Today we have Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician to tell us about causes and tips to prevent health adversities because of coughing blood.
What Coughing up blood means?
Before moving onto the causes of blood from cough we need you to understand what this condition means. Coughing up blood refers to a condition called hemoptysis, this is when mucus comes out of your body with blood. It could be because of respiratory tract infection, problems in throat or lungs or some other condition. Some of these conditions can be very serious and thus you should not take risk.
Coughing up blood isn’t same as vomiting blood, this situation means when there is bubbly blood patches that is mixed with mucus. It could be red or rust in colour and usually occurs in small amount. In other cases, vomiting of blood refers to large quantity of blood coming out of your mouth.
Possible causes of coughing up blood
There could be several reasons that could be responsible for coughing up blood. This could be some mild problems or some serious disease. Bronchitis is actually one of the most common diseases because of which coughing of blood happen. It is important to know other reasons too, so here is the probable list of problems that are associated with coughing up blood.
- Blood clotting in your lungs
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary aspiration
- Excessive or extremely violent coughing that irritated your throat
- Using blood thinners
- Pneumonia disease
- Blockage of artery in the lungs
- Complications from lupus
- Congestive heart failure
- Irritation because of bronchoscope biopsy
- Condition causing enlargement of arteries in the lungs
- Cystic fibrosis
- Injury to the arteries in the lungs
- Inflammation of blood vessels in the lungs, vasculitis
Diagnosis of Coughing up Blood
There are measures to diagnose this condition of coughing up blood. It could actually range from mild to serious and is therefore important to know where the infection or problem has occurred. There are several ways to monitor and diagnose this condition to know the underlying cause of disease. The following tests are useful and need to be done in order to find out the cause-
- Lung scan
- Computer tomography i.e. CT scan
- X-Ray of the chest to look for tumours
- Bronchoscopy, in which a flexible tube goes through nose to check the air passage in the body
- Biopsy of lungs
- Blood count of lungs
- Blood clotting test
- Sputum culture of the lungs that helps to judge lung excretions
- Pulmonary arteriography to check blood flow in lungs
Treatment for Coughing up Blood
Depending upon the cause of bloody cough, the treatment might differ. Although most of the conditions are related to lungs and its disorders, hence it is slightly easier to get it treated. In mild conditions, where the condition is not very serious, use of cough suppressants is recommended. It is for those who just have this as a temporary problem. However you may need some medical care if the symptoms or the cough worsens.
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Dr. Sumeet recommends that you address the underlying conditions in order to reduce bloody cough. This may seem as better option to get rid of the blood in your cough. You will need to reduce your bleeding by embolizing the artery or through a bronchoscope procedure.
If it is because of cancer, then surgery would be required to take the tumour out and treat the person. This could be a vital procedure and there may be side-effects of cancer treatment as usual. Antibiotics can be helpful in aiding the treatment of inflammation of lungs in case of pneumonia or tuberculosis. Steroids may also be preferred in some cases depending on the doctor’s analysis.
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