Q. I have intercostal strain and I coughed sputum with blood. Do I need to worry?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 28, 2016 and last reviewed on: Feb 10, 2020

Hello doctor,

Recently, I was diagnosed with an intercostal strain. The symptoms are pain in the area of strain and swelling. Unfortunately, I have developed a frightening symptom where I am coughing up blood coated mucus. My father who worked as an EMT says that it is not an emergency and that I should be fine. However, I am still concerned. The amount of blood in the cough is not exponential, but it is noticeable. It is not frothy or painful to cough outside of the pressure it puts on the muscle strain. I do have allergies and I am a smoker. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I am 22 years old. I can breathe deeply although with pain to the strained area. Should I go to the doctor tomorrow? Or is this just a side effect or something? I also take Zoloft 100 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg thrice a day for pain and Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg at night.



Welcome to

  • The causes could be bronchitis, bronchiectasis, lung abscess, etc. High rate of cigarette smoking is the main underlying cause for the above mentioned pathological diseases.
  • You have to undergo several tests and investigations to narrow down the underlying cause and confirm the diagnosis.
  • Digital chest x-ray should be done. You may be advised to undergo high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan.
  • I suggest you to contact with your nearest physician or pulmonologist at the earliest for proper management of the case. Meanwhile, quit smoking.

Revert back after the tests to an internal medicine physician online -->

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