Coughing Up Bloody Mucus: 15 Causes and When To See The Doctor

By | April 22, 2020
Coughing Up Bloody Mucus

Cough with phlegm is a common illness experienced by many people. This type of cough can occur because the lungs produce excessive sputum due to infection. Cough is the body’s way to clean the airway from phlegm in order to breathe better.

However, what if the Coughing Up Bloody Mucus? For young people, a cough like this may not be a serious symptom of the disease and can heal immediately. However, for people who are old and smo**kers, a bloody cough can be a dangerous indicator.

Bloody cough or hemoptysis generally caused a severe cough that occurs for a long time. Coughing Up Bloody Mucus should not be underestimated. The reason is, this condition can be a symptom of a serious life-threatening illness.

Read also: How to clear mucus from lungs – Home remedies

The disease that causes coughing up bloody mucus

After examination, the doctor will know the cause of hemoptysis that you are experiencing. Thus, treatment can be done to overcome the problem of Coughing Up Bloody Mucus or symptoms of hemoptysis.

Know the diseases that cause Coughing Up Bloody Mucus or hemoptysis, namely:

Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a disease that has symptoms of Coughing Up Bloody Mucus. This condition is caused by exposure to bacterial or viral infections that make the respiratory tract inflamed as the blood vessels around the bronchi rupture. This causes blood to appear in the phlegm.


TUBERCULOSIS is an infectious disease caused by exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. In addition to hemoptysis, there are symptoms experienced by TUBERCULOSIS, such as fever, frequent excessive sweating at night, the body feels limping all day, and drastically weight loss.

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a blood clot that clogs one of the veins in the lungs. These blood clots are usually formed in blood vessels in other parts of the body, generally the legs or calves, which are then detached and running back upwards towards the lungs.

Some common symptoms that mark pulmonary embolism in addition to bloody phlegm are:

  • Shortness of breath, usually appears suddenly.
  • Chest pain that worsens as you try to take a deep breath, cough, eat, or bend.
  • Leg pain or swelling that usually occurs in the calf.
  • Fever.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Heartbeat is fast and irregular.
  • The head feels light or giddy.

Blood clots that clog the pulmonary vessels can block the flow of air, thus endangering life.

Read also: How To Prevent Pulmonary Embolism


Bronchiectasis can be the cause of bloody cough. This condition is depicted with chronic respiratory disorders caused by infections of the bronchi. Bronchial inflammation of the bronchiectasis causes the bronchial wall to thicken abnormally so the lungs have difficulty in clearing the mucus.

This excess mucus can eventually cause infections that can lead to gradual loss of lung function. During the exacerbation period, when the infection worsened, it can cause a Coughing Up Bloody Mucus. Bronchiectasis is a disease that is permanent and can relapse at any time.

In addition to coughing up blood, bronchiectasis also usually shows other health disorders that include:

  • Cough and expel yellow phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired
  • Experiencing fever
  • The sound of a wheezing when coughing and taking a breath.

Pulmonary Edema

The cause of Coughing Up Bloody Mucus can occur when the sufferer is experiencing pulmonary edema which is also diagnosed to have problems in the heart. The blood that comes out when the cough will have a foamy texture and a pink color.

Lung cancer

This disease is more common in active smo**kers aged over 40 years. But apparently not only active smo**kers, people who often inhale cigarette smoke, but never smo**ked also have a risk for this disease. The main symptoms of lung cancer, especially in the late stage are blood cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath.


Pneumonia or known as wet lung is an infection that triggers inflammation of the air sacs in one or both of the lungs. These air sacs will then swell and be filled with liquids.

Generally, people with pneumonia are characterized by symptoms of dry cough or cough with a thick, yellow, green, or blood-sputum. In addition, the other symptoms of pneumonia that usually arise are fever, sweating and chills, shortness of breaths or breathlessness, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cystic Fibrosis

Coughing Up Bloody Mucus Causes

Cystic fibrosis is a congenital disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. The disease affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive fluid. The secreted fluid is usually liquid and slippery, but in patients with cystic fibrosis, the damaged gene causes the secretion to become sticky and thick.

Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretion of coat tubes, channels and hallways, especially in the lungs and pancreas.

Although cystic fibrosis is progressive and requires daily treatment, people with this disease are usually still able to do activities, such as school and work.

Signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis vary, depending on the severity of the disease. Even in the same person, symptoms may deteriorate or improve over time. Some people may not experience symptoms until the age of adolescence or adulthood.

People with cystic fibrosis have higher salt levels than normal in their sweat. Additionally, the thick and sticky mucus associated with cystic fibrosis clogging the duct that carries the air in and out of the lungs may cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Persistent cough with sputum or Coughing Up Bloody Mucus.
  • Wheezing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Recurrent pulmonary infections
  • Inflamed nasal passages or nasal congestion
  • Recurrent sinusitis

8 Other causes:

  • Prolonged or severe cough
  • Severe nosebleeds
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cervical cancer
  • Narrow heart valve
  • Serious injuries
  • Drug use through the nose, such as co**caine
  • Taking anticoagulant or anti-blood clotting drugs

If you experience at least one of these conditions, you should be careful. The blood in the phlegm can be a sign of serious things.

This condition requires you to see a doctor

Meet a doctor or seek medical treatment, when a cough often occurs or many secrete a bloody phlegm. If the blood is dark and out with the rest of the food, then immediately consult yourself to the hospital.

It can be a sign of serious digestive tract problems. Also, meet the doctor if any of the following symptoms accompanying the blood in the phlegm.

  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath worsening
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss for no obvious reason
  • There is blood in urine or feces

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