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Haemoptysis means you cough out blood or blood streaked sputum. This has to be differentiated from blood that is vomited or which comes from the nose. It refers specifically to blood coming from the lower airways. It can be in varying amounts ranging from blood staining sputum to coughing out fresh blood in large amounts. You should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Causes of Haemoptysis:
  • Sinusitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Lung abscess
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart conditions like heart failure, mitral stenosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary haemorrhage syndromes. These are rare causes
  • Alveolar haemorrhage. Usually associated with systemic conditions such as connective tissue disease
  • Bleeding disorders such as low platelet count
  • Trauma
  • Foreign body in the airway


If the haemoptysis is large, you will likely be admitted to hospital and the necessary investigations will be performed there. If the amount of blood is small, you may be investigated as an outpatient. The following may be done:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT Scan thorax
  • Sputum for TB tests
  • Bronchoscopy
  • ENT (ear, nose throat) examination
  • Platelet count
  • Bleeding Profile

This depends on the cause of haemoptysis identified.

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