Coughing up blood, also known as haemoptysis, is the spitting or coughing up of blood from the lungs or airways.
There are several types of causes for coughing up blood, including:
- Bronchitis: an inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
- Pneumonia: an infection in the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
- Tuberculosis (TB): a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
- Lung cancer: tumours in the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
- Pulmonary embolism: a blockage in an artery in the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
- Pulmonary hypertension: high blood pressure in the lungs can cause coughing up of blood
Symptoms of coughing up blood can include blood in the mucus when you cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Diagnosis of coughing up blood typically involves a physical examination, a chest X-ray, and a CT scan or MRI of the chest. Additional tests such as a bronchoscopy, pulmonary angiography or blood tests, may be needed to find the underlying cause.
Treatment for coughing up blood depends on the underlying cause and can range from antibiotics for infections to surgery for lung cancer. In cases of pulmonary embolism, blood thinners may be prescribed to prevent clots from growing larger or breaking off and traveling to the lung.
It’s important to note that coughing up blood can be a symptom of a serious condition, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience coughing up blood.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about appendicitis, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coughing-up-blood/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych