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2023-02-03 : sreemanjuhospitals

You cough up blood from your lungs when you have hemoptysis. It can indicate a severe medical condition. It can be brought on by infections, tumors, and issues with your lungs' blood vessels. If you are coughing up blood, you must consult a doctor unless you have bronchitis.

Depending on how much blood you cough up over the course of a day, there are several types of hemoptysis. But occasionally, it could be difficult to tell.

severe or life-threatening hemoptysis Different professionals have different recommendations for what this type entails. They range in blood volume from 100 milliliters (mL) to more than 600 mL, or around one pint.

hemoptysis that's not life-threatening or severely severe. Submassive or mild hemoptysis are other names for this condition. Between 20 and 200 mL, or nearly a cup, of blood, may come up in your cough. Little or no hemoptysis Less than a tablespoon, or less than 20 mL, is all you cough up. If they cough up blood, others could assume the worst. There are other probable causes, though, ranging from mild to serious.

Hemoptysis is the medical name for the coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract. This complaint may be brought on by a variety of illnesses, from slight throat discomfort to specific lung disorders. If someone coughs up blood, they should first determine whether the source of the blood is their gums or a minor mouth injury.

This article will examine various potential causes of bloody coughing, available treatments, and when to seek medical attention.

1. Nosebleeds

Blood can spill into the top of the throat and the back of the nose if someone has a nosebleed while sleeping on their back. The person can ingest the blood before coughing it up later. When someone sits up, they could see that blood is coming out of their nose. If a nosebleed is severe, the person may also cough up blood that has entered the throat.

Typically, nosebleeds are not serious and should end on their own. However, if the bleeding is severe and does not stop after about 30 minutes, medical attention might be needed.

2. Respiratory tract infections 

Coughing up blood can be a symptom of several respiratory illnesses, including laryngitis, pneumonia, and bronchitis. These illnesses are the most frequent causes of bloody coughing outside of medical facilities. In one study, 64% of hemoptysis episodes in an outpatient clinic were attributed to infections.

People with respiratory tract infections could also exhibit additional symptoms of sickness, such as fatigue, and may have recently experienced a cold or fever. They can also have sick members of their family. Sometimes a person can recuperate at home without the need for drugs. A viral bronchitis, for instance, typically goes away on its own. Conversely, bacterial bronchitis may need to be treated with antibiotics.

A person may require a hospital stay in more serious situations, particularly if they have severe pneumonia, in order to receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics, breathing treatments, and monitoring.

3. Asthma

During or after an asthma attack, people who have the condition may cough up blood. In fact, asthma accounted for 10% of patients in one outpatient survey and was the second most common reason for bloody coughing.

In the morning, those who have asthma may experience coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems. Additionally, they may get asthma attacks during which these symptoms worsen. Asthma can manifest in adults, despite the fact that doctors typically diagnose it in children.

Asthma currently has no known cure, however a variety of therapies can lessen the symptoms. Making lifestyle adjustments and seeking allergy treatments may be helpful for those whose allergies serve as asthma triggers. Exercise, emergency steroid administration via an asthma inhaler, and pharmaceutical use may all be beneficial.

4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A series of illnesses known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) harm the lung's alveoli. Lung gas exchange is made more challenging by COPD. It ranks as the fourth most common cause of death in the US. Reliable Source. Smokers are more prone to get COPD, particularly as they get older.

The signs typically appear gradually over time and include:

  • Asthmatic coughing continuously
  • Chest constriction

The symptoms of COPD might get worse over time, and there is presently no solution for it. Treatments, however, may be able to enhance quality of life while also delaying the deterioration of the illness. These consist of:

getting respiratory treatments

exercising, if at all feasible altering one's lifestyle by giving up smoking, and taking medication.

5. Cancer

A bloody cough or blood in the mucus may indicate some cancers, such as lung cancer. Lung cancer was found in 6% of outpatients with bloody coughs in the sample. Lung cancer is more likely to occur in smokers who are older than 40 and heavy smokers.

Some indications

  • Trusted resources for lung cancer include:
  • unaccounted-for weight loss
  • wheezing breathlessness
  • continuous coughing up blood; persistent tiredness
  • The type of lung cancer a person has and how far it has spread determine the appropriate course of treatment. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery to remove tumors could also be a part of it.

6. Tuberculosis

The severe lung infection known as tuberculosis (TB), which can also spread to other parts of the body, can be fatal. It is more likely that someone has TB if they see a lot of blood, not just a few droplets. Though the rate is lower in wealthier nations, it accounts for a sizable fraction of incidents of coughing up blood globally.

Persons who live or work close to those who are at high risk for TB are more susceptible to getting the disease themselves since people with TB contract it from other people. Some signs are: night sweats, weight loss, and a persistent cough that bleeds when you cough - TB is more common in HIV-positive individuals.

The antibiotic isoniazid is typically used by doctors to treat TB. Additionally, a person can require oxygen and other therapies based on how serious their condition is.

7. Blood vessel problems 

Rarely, blood may be coughed up by a person due to issues with blood vessels in the lungs or elsewhere in the body. Coughing up blood could be a symptom of an embolism, which occurs when a blood clot enters the lungs.

More susceptible individuals include those who smoke, have a history of blood clots, must sit for extended periods of time, have recently undergone surgery, and are smokers. Any abnormality of a significant vein is referred to as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). It could be bent or have other issues, for instance.

An individual may cough up blood if a pulmonary AVM ruptures inside or close to the lungs. Emergency situations involving blood vessels can be fatal. 911 should be called right away if there is sudden bleeding or other symptoms like confusion or breathing difficulties.

Depending on where the problem is, a person may need to have surgery, take blood thinners, or receive emergency supportive care.

Hemoptysis Causes

Many things can make you cough up blood. Common causes include:

  • Bronchitis, either short-term (acute) or long-term or lung cancer
  • Damaged airways (bronchiectasis), especially coz of cystic fibrosis
  • Pneumonia and tuberculosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Other causes include:

  • Congestive heart failure, especially coz of mitral stenosis
  • Crack cocaine use
  • Foreign objects in your airways
  • Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions (like lupus, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, microscopic polyangiitis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, Goodpasture disease, or Behcet disease)
  • Lung abscess
  • Non-cancerous lung tumors
  • Parasitic infection
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • An injury such as gunshot wound or car accident
  • Use of blood thinners (anticoagulants)
  • Endometriosis and h ughes-Stovin syndrome
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • Sarcoidosis

The hemoptysis often disappears after 6 months, but in certain cases, doctors are unable to identify the cause.

Hemoptysis vs. Similar Conditions

In order to diagnose hemoptysis, your doctor will need to determine whether the blood is coming from your lungs, upper respiratory tract, upper digestive tract, or both. It's known as pseudohemoptysis. Or you can be experiencing hematemesis, which is the vomiting of blood.

Sputum (the substance you cough up), which is caused by hemoptysis, is bright red or pink and foamy. Pseudohemoptysis resembles it extremely closely. Tests may be the only way to distinguish between the two. The substance that hematemesis produces is darker and resembles coffee grinds. It might be combined with food scraps.

When to see a Doctor

Without therapy, acute bronchitis normally gets better on its own. It's okay to monitor and wait if you have bronchitis and notice minute quantities of blood in the mucus for less than a week.

A major medical issue may also be indicated by blood be