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Q. Should I be concerned about blood in sputum?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 05, 2016 and last reviewed on: May 20, 2020

Hello doctor,

Over the last two days, I have had a bad sore throat. It also accompanies with a slight cough, trouble in sleeping, occasional uncommon sweating, body soreness or fatigue, slight vomiting and voice loss. It is not really getting better. It originally appeared to be just a bad cold, but today there is blood in my sputum. It started about 15 minutes ago and it is only when I spit it out every few minutes. Should I be concerned? My mom thinks that it may be due to a laryngoscope I got at the ENT yesterday. But, no bleeding occurred until now. Thank you.

Dr. Shyam Kalyan N

Allergy Specialist Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to

  • With the details you have provided I strongly suspect that you are suffering from an acute upper respiratory tract infection.
  • The bacterial products and body's response against the invading organisms are causing you the symptoms of sore throat, fever, sweating, fatigue, etc.
  • The bleeding could be due to the scopy, however, it can be due to repeated coughing also.
  • What is the characteristic of the sputum that you cough out? Does it have yellow thick discharge or is it just whitish? Does sputum come out easily or it tends to linger in the chest and you have to cough repeatedly do bring it out?
  • You need strong symptomatic and supportive measures for the same. The decision on whether an antibiotic is to be given can be taken after two days of symptomatic treatment.
  • As per prevailing practices if we find excessive congestion in throat, thick, tenacious yellow sputum, fever, etc., we start on an antibiotic.
  • I suggest you tablet of Acetaminophen whenever there is pain, anti-inflammatory tablets of trypsin-chymotrypsin combination taken before meals to relieve edema and congestion.
  • Mucolite syrup, which contains Ambroxol or N-Acetylcysteine to lighten sputum and help cough it out. It has to be taken 5 mL twice or thrice daily. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.
  • I suggest you try the following measures:
  1. Hot saline water gargles three times daily.
  2. Steam inhalation and have plenty of warm liquids.
  3. Avoidance of spicy cold foods and cold drinks and abstinence from alcohol and smoke.
  4. Adequate rest

For further information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

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