What Does Coughing Up Blood Mean? Posted on October 21, 2022 by Advanced ENT & Allergy If you’re coughing up blood, it may be alarming. However, you should know that there are many reasons this could be happening – it doesn’t always mean something serious. That said, you should still seek prompt medical attention just in case. We review what you need to know about coughing up blood below. What It’s Called According to one article, “Hemoptysis is defined as the expectoration of blood, alone or mixed with mucus, from the lower respiratory tract. It occurs in around 10% of patients with chronic lung disease.” How It’s Categorized There are generally three ways to categorize hemoptysis: Scant hemoptysis describes when a small amount of blood is found in the saliva and mucus. It may look like streaks.Mild to moderate hemoptysis describes blood volume averaging less than a half a cup per 24 hours.Massive hemoptysis describes blood volume averaging up to one quart per 24 hours. What Causes It There are many possible causes of hemoptysis, ranging from mild to severe. These include: PneumoniaBronchitisFungal infectionTuberculosisCancerPulmonary embolismBlood thinning medications such as Coumadin (warfarin), Eliquis (apixaban), Plavix (clopidrogel) or Xarelto (rivaroxaban) How It’s Diagnosed Notify your health care provider right away if you experience any amount of hemoptysis so you can be evaluated. Tests for diagnosis include: Physical examinationLaboratory testsChest X-rayComputed tomography (CT) scanBronchoscopy How It’s Treated The treatment for hemoptysis depends on the underlying cause. Medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs can treat hemoptysis caused by infection or inflammation. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these can treat hemoptysis caused by cancer. Blood thinning medications can be picked up from Boyd’s Pharmacy in the case of pulmonary embolism; however, this could cause further bleeding. Changing or stopping blood thinning medications can stop bleeding if that was the cause. If you’re bleeding profusely, a procedure may be necessary to stop it, such as: BronchoscopyBronchial artery embolizationSurgery For more information about hemoptysis or to schedule an appointment with a health care provider if you’re coughing up blood, call Advanced ENT & Allergy today. Can Anxiety Cause Acid Reflux?What Are Tonsil Stones, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?