Hemoptysis is coughing up blood from the airways and lungs. It is not usually a serious problem, but any instance of coughing or spitting up blood requires medical attention to determine the cause and begin treatment.
Call 911 for medical care if you are coughing up a lot of blood within a short amount of time (several teaspoons with each cough). Use our online waiting service, InQuicker, to select your estimated arrival time at a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican emergency room for care for hemoptysis in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
Bloody sputum from the lungs can appear red or pink and frothy because it is mixed with air and mucus from the lungs. Other symptoms that can occur with hemoptysis include:
- Chest pain
- Low-grade fever
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Runny nose
Causes of Hemoptysis
The most common causes of hemoptysis include:
- Asthma with violent and persistent coughing, which can irritate the airways and cause bleeding
- Blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism)
- Bronchiectasis, a chronic condition caused by thickened bronchial walls
- Cardiac diseases, including mitral valve stenosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD (chronic bronchitis or emphysema)
- Use of certain drugs
- Immunologic lung diseases, including Goodpasture syndrome and Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Lung cancer
- Respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Abnormal grouping of blood vessels (vascular malformations)
Hemoptysis may also be caused by tuberculosis, which is uncommon in the US. Sometimes, bleeding from the stomach can cause you to cough up blood. Any time you cough up blood you should see your doctor.
Diagnosing the Cause of Hemoptysis at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican
Doctors usually rely on a physical exam and medical tests, including chest X-ray, to diagnose the cause of hemoptysis. The doctor in charge of your care will likely order lab tests on the sputum you cough up to look for signs of an infection. You may also need a test called a bronchoscopy to examine the airways.
After your diagnosis, your doctor will recommend treatment of the cause, such as antibiotics for bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia. For coughs with large quantities of blood, you may need to be treated in the intensive care unit of our hospital until your condition stabilizes.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican offers emergency diagnosis and treatment options for patients with hemoptysis in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.