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When should you call your doctor about symptoms of coughing up blood (hemoptysis)?

ANSWER

Coughing up blood can also be a sign of a serious medical condition. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Blood in mucus that lasts longer than a week, is severe or getting worse, or comes and goes over time
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Soaking sweats at night
  • Fever higher than 101 degrees
  • Shortness of breath with your usual activity level

People requiring treatment for coughing blood are nearly always treated in a hospital, until the cause is identified, and the threat of serious bleeding passes.

SOURCES:

Mason, R. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 5th edition, Saunders, 2010. Cahill, B.C. Clinics in Chest Medicine, 1994; vol 15: pp 147-167.

Hirshberg, B. Chest, 1997; vol 112: pp 440-444.

Adelman, M. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1985; vol 102: pp 829-834.

Chang, J.C. Sarcoidosis, 1987; vol 4: pp 49-54.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 20, 2020

SOURCES:

Mason, R. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 5th edition, Saunders, 2010. Cahill, B.C. Clinics in Chest Medicine, 1994; vol 15: pp 147-167.

Hirshberg, B. Chest, 1997; vol 112: pp 440-444.

Adelman, M. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1985; vol 102: pp 829-834.

Chang, J.C. Sarcoidosis, 1987; vol 4: pp 49-54.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 20, 2020

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