Coughing up Blood
Coughing up blood or blood-stained mucus from the bronchi, larynx, trachea, or lungs is called Hemoptysis. This can occur with lung cancer, infections such as tuberculosis, bronchitis, or pneumonia, and certain cardiovascular conditions. Hemoptysis is considered massive if there is more than 300mL of blood lost in 24 hours. In such cases, the primary danger comes from choking, rather than blood loss.
There are many conditions involving coughing up blood, including bronchitis and pneumonia most commonly, but also lung cancers, aspergilloma, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, coccidioidomycosis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonic plague, and cystic fibrosis. Rarer causes include hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Goodpasture's syndrome, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis. In children, hemoptysis is commonly caused by the presence of a foreign body in the airway. The condition can also result from over-anticoagulation from treatment by drugs such as warfarin.
Blood-laced mucus from the sinus or nose area can sometimes be misidentified as symptomatic of hemoptysis. Extensive non-respiratory injury can also cause one to cough up blood. Cardiac causes like congestive heart failure and mitral stenosis should be ruled out. The origin of blood can be identified by observing its color. Bright-red, foamy blood comes from the respiratory tract, whereas dark-red, coffee-colored blood comes from the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes hemoptysis may be rust-colored.
Hemoptysis is often experienced by pleural mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma patients as the disease progresses.
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