Coughing Up Blood, Type & Treatments

Coughing Up Blood is also called hemoptysis. It can be the sign of a very serious medical condition.  It can be as a result of a problem in the lungs, problems in the blood vessels, cancer or infections.  Also, the hemoptysis can be as a result of bronchitis.  There is a need for a very serious and intensive medical evaluation to enable the medical professionals to determine what can be the cause. Many health conditions can be handled at home, but hemoptysis is not one of them. Whenever you notice it, never hesitate to report to the hospital.

Hemoptysis refers to coughing up blood that can be caused by numerous condition. The spitting up blood is not an alarming situation if you are young and healthy. It can be a concern for older people, especially those who smoke. The blood can come from the throat, lungs, upper airways, and nose. Mostly, infections, issues in blood vessels, and cancer can cause coughing up blood. In this article, we have talked about hemoptysis in detail.

Human Beings account for the planet’s most sophisticated species, our advancement in evolution has seen many successes for thousands of years, however, our advancement over decades have also been plagued by diseases and ailments.

This is a Natural Biological precursor put in place by nature to checkmate exponential growth of the Human Population, in order to prevent the extinction of our species as a result of over competition.

Nature has a way of handling everything that is thrown at it, and one way of Nature checkmating population growth is through Diseases. This sounds a bit harsh as this ultimately leads death, but also serves as a means of Pharmaceutical advancement of Mankind.

An ailment such as Hemoptysis or Coughing up Bloodin the morning can be linked to mild or severe health care issues if not treated and managed properly. This leads us to the question, what is Coughing up Blood?

Read on to know everything about coughing up blood.

What Type of Blood Are You Coughing?

When you cough up frothy blood-streaked sputum, it usually comes from your lungs. This is because of a chest infection or prolonged coughing. On the other hand, if you spit up theblood of dark color with bits of food, it might come from your digestive system. In such circumstances, you need to immediately visit a hospital as it might indicate a serious problem. Moreover, the seriousness of the condition is dependent on how long you have been spitting blood and in what quantity. It is a serious sign that you should not overlook.

Causes of Blood In Phlegm

Phlegm is a concoction of mucus and saliva that you spit. The blood in phlegm is produced when there is an inflammation oflungs. This leads to excess production of mucus in therespiratory tract. The blood in phlegm can be rust colored, streaked with red or bright red colored. There are some common causes of blood in phlegm, they are:

  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchitis
  • Lower repository tract infections
  • Laryngitis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Autoimmune and inflammatory conditions
  • Trauma

Other causes include:

  • Pulmonary edema
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vasculitis
  • Good pasture’s syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Using anticoagulants

How To Prevent Coughing Up Blood

Coughing up blood is a sign of a serious disease or a condition. It is recommended not to ignore this symptom as it can worsen over time. You must visit a doctor to prevent it from getting worse and get appropriate treatment. There are some things that you can do to prevent coughing up blood.

  • Smoking is a bad for your health and will worsen your condition
  • Avoid going out when pollution or smog are high
  • Drink more water if you think you are experiencing the symptoms of respiratory infection
  • Keep your house neat and clean
  • You must visit the hospital if you are experiencing persistent cough

Coughing Up Blood With Mucusor Vomiting Blood

If you are coughing up blood with mucus, it can be due toinfection in your airways and lungs. The blood will come from the respiratory system while vomiting blood shows bleeding from either esophagus, intestines, and stomach. There are numerous differences between coughing up blood and vomiting blood.

When you are spitting blood you will not have nausea, there will be no food bits in blood and the color of blood is red or pink. On the other hand, when you are vomiting blood, you will feel nauseous. You will have a history of stomach disease, small particles of blood are present, and the color of blood is dark.

Treatment of Blood With Mucus

The treatment of coughing blood with mucus is aimed to halt the bleeding along with treating its cause. There are several ways to treat hemoptysis, most common treatments are:


If you are coughing up blood in large amounts, it can be fatalthatwill require surgery. It is called pneumonectomy, in which your lung will be removed.

Bronchial Artery Embolization

The doctor will place a catheter in the artery that supplies blood to your lungs. They will view your arteries on the screen, this will help in identifying the area of bleeding. After the identification of the source, the artery is blocked with the help of metal coils. This will cause the bleeding to stop and the blood is supplied through other arteries.


Another way to treat spitting of blood is by bronchoscopy. The tools of theendoscope are used for treating the causes of coughing blood. For instance, theballoon inflated in the air passage might be used to stop the bleeding.

Other Treatments

There are other ways to treat coughing up blood with mucus including:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics

In case you have a thin blood due to medication, you may need a transfusion of blood or medicines that will make up for the blood loss.

What To Do Coughing Up Bloody Phlegm

In case you are coughing up bloody Phlegm, you need to consult a doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms:

  • You have lost weight without any particular reason
  • The quantity of the blood you spit is over a few teaspoons
  • Blood in your urine and stool
  • You have lost your appetite
  • You are experiencing dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fever

The general physician will determine whether you have any serious health problem with the help of some tests.

Tests That Are Required When Spitting Up Blood

There are numerous tests that will help the doctor determine whether you have a serious condition or not. The physician will ask for a sample of sputum to test it for infection. In addition to it, the doctor might refer a blood test. Depending on the symptoms and condition, you might be recommended chest X-ray. In order to get amore detailed scan, you might be advised for a CT scan.

Furthermore, in some cases, additional tests might be required to know the origin of the blood. The doctor might refer to a specialist for a bronchoscopy. In this test, the main air passage of your lungs is examined through a tube with acamera. The physician might refer for Complete Blood Count (CBC). It is a test for checking the number of red and white blood cells in your blood.

Other tests that might be helpful include urinalysis, blood chemistry profile, arterial blood gas, coagulation tests, and pulse oximetry.

In the end, coughing up blood is an indication of a serious condition that you must never ignore. Whether you are spitting up blood in large quantity or small amounts, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

Mucus In Throat

Mucus in throat is also called phlegm.  Mucus does not necessarily contain blood. It is called hemoptysis when it is mixed with blood.  They are naturally produced by the membranes that line the lungs, sinuses, throats, nose, and mouth.  They are also produced as a form of body defense against invading bacteria or other organisms. They trap these organisms and help to expel them from the body.  You do not have to worry about mucus in your throat since they are produced naturally. However, you may have cause to worry if you start experiencing blockage in your throat, which may be due to excess accumulation of mucus in the throat. You can humidify the air, stay saturated, and consume ingredients that promote respiratory health or gargle salt water to remove the accumulated mucus.

Coughing Up Blood Medical Term

Coughing up blood medical term is hemoptysis.  It can be caused by several factors as highlighted below:

  • Trauma, examples of which are motor vehicle accident and gunshot wound
  • Crack cocaine
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, like Churg-Strauss syndrome, microscopic polyangiitis, Wegener’s granulomatosis and lupus.
  • Tuberculosis
  • Congestive heart failure, especially that due to mitral stenosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumonia
  • Use of anticoagulants or blood thinners
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Bronchitis, which can be either acute or chronic

Coughing Up Blood And Mucus

Coughing up blood and mucus can mostly be due to infection. It can happen due to either viral or bacterial infection. It is a sign of very serious infection, and you need to seek medical intervention immediately you notice blood in your phlegm.  It can be a deadly health problem and can lead to death if not cured on time. In most instances, the doctor will give you antibiotics or antiviral agents to resolve the problem.

Coughing Up Blood With A Cold

Certain health conditions can lead to coughing up blood with a cold. It can occur when ordinary cold turns to bronchitis, which is a throat infection due to the inflammation of the bronchus. The inflammation is usually accompanied by cold symptoms. It can also result in flu and blockage of the throat. There are home remedies to take care of this, but it is better to call a doctor immediately you see any sign similar to this. Your body is making an effort to get rid of mucus or phlegm when you a cough. But you must get in touch with your doctor if a cough persists after the cold is gone.

Coughing At Night

Coughing at night is usually one of the signs of tuberculosis infection.  Other signs apart from this include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Night sweat
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pain with breathing or chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Coughing more than three weeks

At times, coughing at night may not be related to tuberculosis or any other form of infection for that matter; it may be spontaneous or your body’s way of removing foreign objects from the airway.

If it is caused by tuberculosis, the doctor will give you antibiotics specific for that purpose. However, you can adopt certain home remedies if it is a spontaneous problem. Some of the home remedies you can use are:

  • Humidify the air
  • Eat some honey
  • Allergy-proof your bedroom or use air filters
  • Prevent cockroach
  • Get a lot of rest
  • Manage asthma and
  • Stop smoking

Reasons For Coughing Up Blood

Reasons for coughing up blood are usually associated with throat infections.  Some of them have been mentioned earlier.  When you have bronchitis; that is, inflammation of the throat, you can end up coughing up blood. Keep in mind that bronchitis can be acute or chronic. The acute form is recent, while the chronic form had been around for a very long time. This condition rarely leads to mortality.

A non-malignant tumor or lung cancer can also make you cough blood. When such happens, the patient can be placed on chemotherapy or taken through surgery.  The use of anticoagulants is yet another reason for coughing up blood. Anticoagulants make the blood to flow faster by thinning the blood. Certain foods are rich in natural anticoagulants.

Infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis can lead to coughing up blood. However, these infections can only make you cough up blood if they are chronic; that is if they had been in place for a very long time. Those who take cocaine over a long period can also end up with blood in the mucus. Then, traumatic conditions, like motor vehicle accident and a gunshot wound to the chest can equally make an individual cough up blood.

Coughing Up Green Mucus

Mucus is normally greying or whitish. You should be worried when you start coughing up green mucus. At times, it may happen when you take certain drugs or eat certain foods, which may give the green color to your mucus. If this is the case, then there is no need to get worried.

If the green mucus production cannot be traced to any food or drug that you have taken, then you should suspect certain infections. Principal among the infections that can lead to coughing up green mucus is bronchitis; though bronchitis can also lead to the production of yellow mucus at times.  Another health condition that can make you produce green mucus is cystic fibrosis. If you have sinusitis, you can also end up producing green mucus when you a cough. Sinusitis implies the inflammation of the sinus, which is located at the upper respiratory region behind your nostrils.

Do not delay in calling your doctor when you notice this, especially if it cannot be linked to any food or drug that you have earlier taken.   The doctor will tell you about the various available treatment options.

Coughing Up Brown Mucus

Smokers are used to coughing up Brown mucus in the morning. Brown mucus can also be as a result of inhaling smoke caused by heavy air pollution. Also, brown mucus can occur when a bacterial infection changes the color of mucus to greenish brown.

However, in a more severe case, brown mucus stems from existing blood particles in the mucus. This means that there is a serious potential for a lung infection.

Individuals who experience this symptom are advised to seek the help of Medical experts to prevent complications. Failure to do so might lead to fatality.

Coughing Up Blood Clots

Coughing up blood clots is also referred to as pulmonary embolism and this condition occurs in the lungs.

The resultant effects of pulmonary embolism (blood clot) are part of the lungs getting damage and causing a restriction in blood flow, comprehensive reduction of oxygen levels in the blood, harmful effects to other organs in the body. A situation where large or multiple blood clot forms can lead to fatality.

The blockage in the lung caused by blood clots can be life-threatening. According to comprehensive research carried out by medical societies, one-third of individuals who go untreated or undiagnosed die when the condition becomes critical. However, permanent Lung damage can be avoided if emergency treatment is conducted on individuals with the condition.

Causes of Coughing Up Blood (Hemoptysis)

There are various probable root causes of Hemoptysis. Causes of Hemoptysis include:

  • Utilization of Blood thinners which is responsible for anticoagulation
  • Acute or Chronic Bronchitis, this is essentially one of the root causes of Hemoptysis. However Hemoptysis arising from this doesn’t pose a life threatening situation
  • Cancer of the Lungs or non-benignant tumors of the lungs
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumonia
  • Trauma caused by an accident, a lethal blow to the lung, or wound inflicted by a gunshot
  • Congestive Heart Failure, mitral stenosis being the causative factor
  • Autoimmune or inflammatory conditions such as Wegner’s granulomatosis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, microscopic polyangiitis and a host of others
  • Intake of Crack Cocaine
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, also known as AVMs

Hemoptysis can also be as a result of bleeding originating from the exterior of airways and the lungs. A case of critical nose bleeding and erratic expulsion of blood from the stomach can result into the blood emptying into the trachea (windpipe). The blood is then subsequently coughed up, leading to it being termed as Hemoptysis.

Many people around the world haven’t found the cause of them coughing up blood. After six months, most people experiencing hemoptysis witness a seizure of the ailment.

What Causes Blood Clots?

A variety of factors can lead to blood clots. One of the leading causes of pulmonary embolism is deep vein thrombosis. This condition originates from blood clots forming in the veins deep inside the body. Pulmonary embolism usually originates from the pelvis or legs.

When blood clots form within the deep veins of the body, they can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Damage or Injury:Blood clots can be caused by injuries arising from muscular torsion or bone fractures that cause damage to blood vessels.
  • Inactivity:Gravity is the most powerful force on our planet, in a situation of inactivity over extensive periods, stagnation of blood occurs in the lowest part of the human body, which often leads to a blood clot. This could arise when you’re required to sit down for a long trip, also when you sit on the water closet for a long time in a restroom or lying down for long hours in a sick bed while recovering from a medical condition.
  • Medical conditions: Numerous health issues facilitate the ease at which blood clots arise, thus leading to pulmonary embolism. Blood clots can also be induced by a physician during surgical procedure or chemotherapy conducted on cancer patients.

In addition to these factors, order factors are responsible for increasing the risk of blood clots, ultimately leading to pulmonary embolism.

What are the risk factors for blood clots/pulmonary embolism?

Factors that ultimately lead to the increased risk of formation of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are:

  • Pre-existing history of Heart attack or stroke in your family lineage
  • Cancer
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Consumption of hormones such as testosterone or estrogen.
  • Attaining the age of 60 and above
  • Undergoing major medical surgery
  • Obesity
  • Fractures of the hip or leg
  • History of embolisms in the family
  • Blood clotting defects as a result of a genetic disorder or hypercoagulable states, including Factor V Leiden, spike in the levels of homocysteine, and prothrombin gene mutation.

Coughing up blood in the morning (Hemoptysis)

Coughing up Blood in the morning or Hemoptysis can be attributed to a variety of life-threatening medical conditions. Issues within the Blood Vessels, Cancer, and Infections are probable factors leading to Hemoptysis.

This requires the individual experiencing this health issue to seek medical evaluation to determine the root cause unless the case is attributed to Bronchitis.

Coughing up Blood is essentially a situation where an individual is exposed to an uncontrolled expulsion of Blood via the esophagus whenever they cough.

Symptoms of Blood Clot In The Lung

The symptoms of pulmonary embolism are dependent on the location of the blood clot formation in the lung and size.

The most noticeable symptom of pulmonary embolism is a disruption in breathing patterns such as shortness of breath. This can occur gradually or suddenly without warning.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fast and heavy breathing
  • Rapid beating of the heart
  • Heart beating irregularly
  • Expulsion of blood via spitting.
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Anxiety
  • Bluish or clammy skin
  • Restlessness
  • Pulse rate becoming weak
  • Pain in the chest that may migrate to your arm, neck, jaw and shoulder


Strict adherence to personal health and observation of symptomatic conditions can ensure that you live a long, healthy and stable life. Life-threatening conditions arise when we ignore the precursors our body provides us whenever it encounters health challenges.

We are all required to go for frequent medical checkups at medical facilities to safeguard against health care challenges, thereby ensuring that we protect ourselves from an untimely death.

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