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HomeAnswersPulmonology (Asthma Doctors)cough with phlegmI see blood in my phlegm. Is this serious?

What should I do if I spot blood in my phlegm?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Anjali

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 23, 2022
Reviewed AtJuly 19, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 20-year-old male with a height of 5.97 ft and weight 165.34 lb. I had a cold, cough, and fever a few days back. My doctor prescribed me antibiotics and Paracetamol for the same. I am almost recovered now, but the cough and phlegm are still present. The phlegm is often normal, but occasionally, when the phlegm is thick, I can clearly see blood in the yellow phlegm. Kindly give me advice on the same. Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Anjali

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com. As per your history, you have a cough with expectoration (phlegm), and it is bloodstained. I would like to know a few things before I can suggest you on any treatment. Please answer the following questions: 1. Do you have any history of fever, loss of appetite, or weight change? 2. What is the duration of your cough? 3. Any history of smoking? 4. Any history of tuberculosis personally or in the family? 5. Any history of gum swelling or pain in teeth? 6. Is the blood in sputum throughout the day, or is it once in a while? For further diagnosis, I would advise you to get the following investigations done: 1.Sputum test for acid-fast bacillus. 2. Sputum for gram stain and culture. 3. Sputum for CBNAAT (cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test). 4. Chest X-Ray PA (posterior-anterior) view. Please provide me with reports. Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you so much for your help. Here are the answers you requested. I have never smoked. I have only recently developed a cough after fever, almost two to three days ago. No change in weight or appetite. No pain in my teeth. My grandmother had tuberculosis. The blood in the phlegm is once a day occurrence. Around a year ago, I spotted blood in my phlegm; although it was small in amount but was still present. When I cough thick or hard phlegm, some amount of blood is seen now. For the reports you requested, I have my exams from tomorrow, and so currently, it is not possible for me to get the tests done. Can you please tell me if this is serious? Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Anjali

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. If it is once in a while occurrence, you can focus on your exams. But, after exams, I suggest you get the tests done for a better evaluation of the cause of blood in your sputum. In my professional opinion, you will need blood, sputum, and radiological investigations to identify the cause. I suggest you take tablet Azithromycin 500 mg once a day for five days if you are not allergic to it. Then promptly get the investigations done after your exams. I hope this helps. Feel better soon. Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Anjali
Dr. Anjali

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

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