Blood in Mucus

The presence of blood in mucus is termed under the condition 'hemoptysis', and circles around many factors that may be involved in this occurrence. Learn in detail about the causes, symptoms and treatment for this.
Hemoptysis, is a condition where one spits up mucus, that is tinted with blood. Some people can cough this up in small quantities or large, and both situations can raise some alarm bells. The word originates from the Greek word haima, which is blood and ptysis, which means 'a spitting'. It can be the cause for any kind of underlying problem with one's system, from tumors to bronchitis, or even lung cancer.

Coughing up blood can turn into acute hemoptysis, signaling the person that the bronchial tubes and lungs are infected and swollen. Blood in present in mucus while blowing your nose is another signal that the cause of this problem is yet again restricted to the respiratory tract.

Causes of Hemoptysis

The causes stem from problems that the body is undergoing, therefore signaling out to the person that something doesn't seem right. It is important to have these checked out by a doctor to stop it from getting out of hand.
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung abscess
  • Tuberculosis
  • Upper respiratory inflammation
  • Nasopharyngeal bleeding
  • Trauma
  • Influenza
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Goodpasture's syndrome
  • Bronchogenic carcinoma
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Wegener's granulomatosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Blastomycosis lung abscess
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Lupus pneumonitis
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Actinomycosis lung abscess
  • Broncholithiasis
Symptoms of Hemoptysis

In relation to the above causes, hemoptysis can bring on certain signs of escalating in terms of severity. Those who are suffering from this, will also notice other symptoms of this condition that have befallen on them.
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Blood is bright red in color
  • Breaths come out in short intervals
  • Frothy / semi coagulated-looking blood
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing incessantly
  • Chest pain
Treatment for Hemoptysis

Treatment is necessary for any kind of signs of hemoptysis, where medical help is needed no matter how mild you think it may be.

To stop the bleeding, a medicine is injected into the blood vessel that is damaged.

Postural Drainage
In order to prevent patients from breathing in blood, doctors will help position them in such a way, that the sputum (spit) or blood can be spat out, and not taken in.

To help prevent blood vessels from bursting due to severe cases of coughing, doctors will give medicines to control/stop coughing fits. Antibiotics are given, to help prevent any infections that can be caused by bacteria.

Blood Transfusion
If there is excess bleeding, then patients will need a blood transfusion. This is done intravenously, where one gets blood transferred to him/her, or in small doses at a time. One has to be careful to go to a trusted blood bank, to have safe and clean blood transferred into patients.

To help patients breathe more freely, and without any restriction, a bronchodilator is needed to open up one's air passages, into the lungs. For those suffering from arteriovenous malformation or bronchiectasis, surgery is needed to remove part of the lung, that causes one to bring up blood.

Oxygen Supply
One is given more oxygen by breathing this in, using a face mask, or a nasal cannula, to help patients take it in, from their nostrils, where these tubes are placed. An endotracheal tube, is in some cases put into the nose or mouth of patients to help them breathe better, as it supplies the windpipe with oxygen, keeping the airway opened in the process.

It may alarm you to spot blood in your mucus but it important to keep calm and have it checked out by a doctor. According to how it is diagnosed, the treatment option will be put forward to you. Have a healthy tomorrow.
By Naomi Sarah
Published: 12/7/2010
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