What Is Coughing Blood?

Coughing Up Blood or Hemoptysis is a condition when a person has a cough with blood. Coughing up blood itself is a form of symptoms that can arise due to a number of conditions. If coughing up blood is experienced by young people who have a history of good health, it usually is not a sign of a serious illness. However, if the person is an elderly person or known to have a smoking habit, then it is possible that coughing up blood is a symptom of a serious illness. The characteristics of blood in the case of coughing blood can vary, some are pink or bright red, and some also have a foamy texture or even mixed with mucus.

The blood usually originates from the lungs due to infection or prolonged cough. While dark blood and black stains such as coffee powder may come from the digestive tract. The condition is quite serious and requires immediate medical treatment. Similarly, if a person experiences:
  • Cough accompanied by sputum mixed with blood.
  • Cough with a lot of blood volume.
  • Coughing up blood with decreased appetite and weight.
  • Coughing up blood is accompanied by symptoms of shortness of breath, fever over 38 degrees Celsius, dizziness, night sweats, and chest pain.
  • Coughing up blood is accompanied by urine or dirt that is also mixed with blood.
  • Coughing up blood lasting more than a week.
  • Coughing blood that often appears and disappears.

Causes of coughing up blood
Some conditions that can cause coughing of blood include:
  • Bronchitis. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lung tissue , and is the most common cause of coughing. A bloody cough caused by this condition is usually harmless or even life-threatening.
  • Bronchiectasis. In addition to coughing up blood, this type of lung disease also causes the buildup of mucus in the airways.
  • Pulmonary infection . In addition to coughing up blood, patients with this condition will produce a yellowish or purulent sputum, as well as shortness of breath accompanied by fever.
  • Pulmonary edema or fluid buildup . A bloody cough usually occurs in patients with pulmonary edema who are also diagnosed with heart problems. The blood that comes out when coughing will have a foamy and pink texture.
  • Pulmonary embolism or blood clots . In addition to coughing up blood, this condition can cause chest pain and shortness of breath abruptly.
  • Tuberculosis or tuberculosis. This is a class of severe lung infections. In addition to coughing up blood, tuberculosis can also cause sufferers to experience fever and excessive sweating.
  • Lungs Cancer. The main symptoms of lung cancer , especially in the late stages, are coughing up blood, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Severe injuries, such as due to traffic accidents or exposure to weapons.
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, Wegener's granulomatosis, or Churg-Strauss syndrome.
  • Congestive heart failure, mainly due to mitral stenosis.
  • Severe prolonged cough.
  • Side effects of blood-thinning drugs.
  • Side effects of drug use.
  • Bronchial varicose veins. Coughing of blood can occur due to rupture of bronchial varicose, in patients with cirrhosis of the liver and other portal hypertension conditions.
In addition to these conditions, coughing up blood can also be caused by bleeding in the throat, mouth, or nose that mixes with saliva when the sufferer coughs.

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Diagnosis of coughing up blood
Examination done in cases of coughing blood aims to find out the cause of the condition, measure the rate of bleeding, and be aware of the risk of respiratory distress. Diagnosis can be obtained by the doctor through the symptoms shown by the patient, their medical history, and through some advanced tests such as:
  • Sputum sample examination. Your doctor may suggest a sputum sample examination if your blood cough is suspected to be caused by an infection. Sputum samples will be sent to the laboratory for further examination.
  • Blood examination. This test actually covers many things. In addition to red and white blood cell levels, doctors can also measure the patient's electrolytes and kidney function through blood chemistry examinations. Doctors can also measure the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood through an examination called pulse oximetry and blood gas analysis. In addition, doctors can also measure the ability of the blood to freeze through coagulation tests.
  • Examination of X-rays on the chest. Through this scan, the doctor may be aware of any problems in the lower respiratory and lung passages, such as infection or fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Bronchoscopy. This test is done by inserting a device called endoscope into the respiratory tract through the mouth or nose. The hose-shaped device with this camera will help the doctor know the cause of coughing up blood.
  • CT scan. This scan aims to produce images of the chest structure in detail.
  • Urine examination. This examination aims to detect abnormal conditions that cause coughing up blood.

Treatment of coughing up blood
Blood cough treatment should be based on the cause. In addition to stopping the coughing up of blood, the goal of self-medication is to cure the underlying condition. Some types of blood cough handling include:
  • Administration of antibiotics for bacterial lung infections, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia .
  • Provision of steroids if coughing up blood is caused by inflammation.
  • Radiation therapy or chemotherapy if coughing up blood is caused by lung cancer.
  • Bronchial artery embolization if coughing of blood occurs due to bleeding in the arteries. Through this method, the doctor will block the problematic arteries by using a substance or even a metal coil and divert blood circulation to other healthier arteries. Identification of sources of bleeding may be assisted by a catheter through a monitor.
  • Surgery to treat the symptoms of coughing up blood due to life-threatening conditions, such as lung removal surgery in severe lung disease.
  • Bronchoscopy to cough up blood by developing a balloon in the airway that aims to stop the bleeding.

Most of the coughing of blood is caused by abnormalities in the respiratory tract and lungs. Other infections and disorders that occur recurrently and become chronic, can cause ordinary cough to become severe and prolonged. This can be prevented by early cough handling using appropriate and safe cough medicines, as well as medicines and other treatments to address the underlying cause.

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