Coughing Up Blood Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Coughing Up Blood Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Coughing up blood or hemoptysis is a condition when a person coughs up blood.


Coughing up blood or hemoptysis is a condition when a person coughs up blood. Coughing up blood is a symptom or sign of a respiratory tract disease. The volume of blood that comes out with a cough varies, depending on the rate and location of the bleeding.

The most common causes of coughing up blood include:

  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis Infection (Pulmonary TB)
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary edema, due to problems with the heart
  • Airway irritation


Diagnosis of coughing up blood begins with a medical interview and physical examination. Examinations carried out may include blood tests, or thoracic examinations through X-rays to show an overview of the patient’s lungs.

To find out clearly the cause of coughing up blood, the patient needs to do a bronchoscopy examination. This is a procedure that is performed by inserting an instrument called a bronchoscope through the throat, larynx, and trachea into the bronchi. The bronchoscopic examination will record and provide an overview of the patient’s airway.


Symptoms that patients may complain of coughing up blood depend on the underlying cause. For example, if the cause of coughing up blood is a tuberculosis infection, then the symptoms complained of are night sweats, shortness of breath, and weight loss.

Meanwhile, if the cause is lung cancer, the symptoms that the patient complains about can be a pain in the lung area, weight loss, shortness of breath and signs of the spread of cancer to other organs.


The first and most important step in the treatment of coughing up blood is maintaining the condition of the airway. This is necessary because the blood in the airways can cause respiratory failure and be fatal. Provision of oxygen supplementation, and maintaining a hemodynamic state is necessary.

If the situation is more stable, in the condition of coughing up a lot of blood, a bronchoscopy procedure can be carried out to find the source and cause of the bleeding. Once the source is known, epinephrine injections or pressure with a balloon can be done.


Most cases of coughing up blood are caused by abnormalities in the lungs and airways.

In order not to prolong and cause other complications, preventive measures that must be taken are adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying away from air pollution by using a mask, stopping smoking or avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke, and taking cough medicine or other supporting medicines according to a doctor’s prescription.

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