Q. I cough hard with traces of blood in phlegm. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Dwipannita Kalita
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 30, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jul 03, 2021

Hi doctor,

Before 15 days, I was driving my motorcycle when I got caught up in the rain. I get a bit soaked before I got home, and I stayed in my air-conditioned room for hours without taking off or changing clothes and getting dried. Later that night, I felt like I had tonsillitis, as my throat felt bad. The next day I started to lose my voice, and I got a fever with 37.8° Coral temperature. I recovered from my fever after more than 24 hours, but my voice took longer to recover, gradually getting it back two weeks later. Now I have most of my voice back. I have no fever anymore with a body temperature of about 36.6 to 36.8° C and can move my body freely again. However, I still have an occasional cough. It is not as bad as it was before 15 days. But I still cough hard when I do in an attempt to get phlegm out. I can still feel there is phlegm in my throat, but I am having a hard time taking it out and only goes out a few every hack spit. What bothered me is I think I saw a trace of blood on my spit or mucus, twice with days apart. It is not like there is a lot of blood because it is hard to notice since it is faint. But I think there might actually be.

I am not sure if that is from my throat or lungs because it is also possible from my chapped lips or my inner mouth getting stabbed by my damaged braces again. My mom, who once worked as a doctor's secretary, says it must have been bronchitis (where I assumed pneumonia) because of the symptoms I got. Medications I took are Biogesic, Co-trimoxazole, Fluimucil, Erythromycin, Vicks Formula 44, Lagundi Ascof Forte, Strepsil, and Honey Lemon mixed in warm water. I was taking Biogesic when I have a headache. I still drink Vicks Formula 44 syrup. I also tried taking Ascorbic acid and Fluimucil for two to three nights. Kindly help me.



Welcome to

From what you have mentioned in your query, I guess your primary concern is regarding the phlegm, which you are not able to expectorate and also noticing some blood in it. The blood in your sputum is most probably due to the forceful cough reflex. You have already completed your antibiotics course. I would only suggest taking a cough syrup consisting of (Bromhexine plus Guaifenesin plus Chlorpheniramine) two tablespoons three times daily for ten days or till symptoms relieves. Also, I will advise you to take steam inhalation three times daily. Follow up after seven days so that if any other medication needs to be added or started, I can add. Also, if you develop any other symptoms, you can follow up with me anytime.

I hope this was helpful.

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