Coughing Up Blood
Hemoptysis, or coughing up blood, can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Once this occurs, it is recommended that medical attention be sought to determine the cause of the problem. In some cases it can be recurring, and often it will disappear on its own. However, because of the large number of health issues that are associated with this, it is never a good thing to leave it unchecked especially for persons who have certain risk factors.
Persons who smoke, have a family history of lung cancer or other lung disorders, or those who have suffered from some kind of lung or heart disease in the past should be especially careful. This is not to say that they are the only ones who may experience the issue due to life-threatening causes.
There are five main reasons a person may be coughing up blood:
1) Bronchitis: this is among the most common cause and is usually not a threat to one’s life. Although it should be taken seriously if coupled with difficulty breathing.
2) A host of illnesses: these include autoimmune and inflammatory conditions like heart diseases, Churg-Strauss syndrome, lupus, and Wegener’s granulomatosis. The full list of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions is rather long. Illnesses also include pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, lung cancers, or benign lung tumors.
3) Blood getting into the trachea from outside sources: this is usually caused when blood from heavy nose bleeds, or Hematemesis (vomiting of blood) drains into the trachea.
4) Trauma: blunt force injuries, accidents, and being shot can all lead to this condition. When it happens under these circumstances it is normally indicative of damages to internal organs, hence should not be ignored.
5) Use of substances: this applies to both controlled and banned substances. Crack cocaine use is a common reason persons cough up blood, especially with prolonged use that can cause damages to the body. It can also be a side effect of prescription drugs like blood thinners.
It is possible for the person experiencing the episode to know the source of it. However, the best way to find out the seriousness is to have the requisite lab tests done. Hospitalization may be required for acute cases. At this point narcotics can be used for suppressing cough, and the patient is monitored while on bed rest. More serious cases may require procedures like endotracheal intubation or surgical resection. The former is a procedure in which a tube is inserted into the trachea via the mouth if breathing is affected, and the latter is the removal of the tumor or whatever is causing the issue.
In some cases, coughing up blood is not considered to be serious if it is minimal and breathing is not obstructed. Oftentimes these episodes are untreated, and instead are left to stop naturally. If the issue is caused, or being aggravated, by coughing then the coughing can be remedied but usually rest is all that is prescribed to stop coughing up blood.admin