Coughing up blood
Coughing up blood can be alarming, but isn't usuallya sign of a serious problem if you're young and otherwise healthy . It's more a cause for concern in older people, particularly those who smoke .
The medical term for coughing up blood is haemoptysis.
You may cough up small amounts of bright red blood, or frothy blood-streaked sputum (saliva and phlegm). The blood is usually from your lungs and is oftenthe result ofprolonged coughing or a Chest infection, adult .
If the blood is dark and contains bits of food or what look like coffee grounds, it may be coming from your digestive system. This is a more serious problem and you should go to hospital straight away. It's particularly important to see your GP if:
Your GP will be able to assess whether you may have a serious medical condition that needs to be investigated and treated. Call NHS 111 or your local out of hours service if you can't see your GP.
Call 999 for an ambulanceor go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department immediately if you're coughing up significant amounts of blood or are struggling to breathe.
Coughing up blood can be alarming, but isn't usually a sign of anything serious. Find out what you should do if you cough up blood and what the cause might be.
You may be asked for a sample of yoursputum so it can bechecked for infection. Other tests, such as blood tests , may also be needed. Your GP may decide to refer you to a specialist at your local hos
The most common reasons for coughing up blood are: a prolonged, severe cough a chest infection this is more likely if your sputum is discoloured or contains pus, you have a fever, or you have a t
Less commonly, coughing up blood may be the result of: pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in thelungs) this usually causes sudden shortness of breath and chest pain pulmonary oedema (fluidin the l