Prolonged cough can cause blood in mucus. It is not dangerous when you get little blood with phlegm while coughing if you are suffering from cold for long time. It can happen when there is infection on your mouth or throat or during nosebleed. But you should not ignore bloody mucus if you have chest pain, fever or shortness of breath. In medical terms blood in mucus is described as haemoptysis.
One should see the doctor immediately if there is blood in urine or stool along with blood in mucus. It can be a sign of serious illness that requires investigation and treatment. It is common to spit some blood along with phlegm when you have throat infection. However this condition is totally different from blood vomiting that comes from chest or lungs which requires treatment.
Severe cough can cause blood in mucus. Bronchitis or any other type of chest infection can produce little blood with phlegm. Any infection on the lungs will produce phlegm with traces of blood. These are the main causes of blood in mucus.
It can also be caused due to the presence of blood clot in the lungs which is accompanied by shortness of breath. Pulmonary embolism and pulmonary edema can accumulate fluids around the lungs that will be expelled along with blood while coughing.
In rare cases it can be caused by lung cancer or TB or throat cancer. It is uncommon for getting this type of cancer for non-smokers.
Your doctor will look for the symptoms and collect complete medical history before arriving at a decision. He would check for the frequency of blood cough and amount of blood in mucus to find out possible source that cause bleeding. He would request for X-ray, CT scan, blood test and sputum analysis for making right diagnoses.
The method of treatment depends on the underlying cause. If it is due to prolonged coughing then you can take cough suppressants to reduce throat irritation. It would also clear the airway block in the lungs thus making you to breathe freely.
You should note how much blood is coming out with mucus and how many times you are coughing up blood. It should never be blood vomiting which is indicative of serious complications. Your doctor will consider your age, health condition, and underlying disease before starting with treatment.
In case there is shortness of breath along with blood in mucus, supplementary oxygen is given first. Mechanical ventilator is used for providing sufficient amount of oxygen into the lungs to prevent respiratory failure.
If it is due to lung disease or smoking treatment is given for clearing lung infection like swelling or pulmonary embolism. In case of lung cancer surgery is the best option for removing the portion of affected lung or chemotherapy is given.
If blood in mucus is due to viral infection then the patient is to take plenty of fluids daily. He is given antibiotics for clearing the infection caused by virus or bacteria. If it is due to collapsed lung condition like pneumothorax then emergency treatment is provided by re-inflation of the lungs to drain out the blood collected inside the lungs.
Hospitalization is required for complicated conditions like bleeding disorder or severe breathing problem. Angiography is done for locating the exact bleeding point and the area or affected artery is embolized.