Blood In Mucus

Blood In Mucus: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Blood in mucus can put worry in your mind. You may come up with different dangerous scenarios in your mind. You may even start comparing your situation with the movies you have watched with the lead characters coughing up blood. Well, before you launch into the serious scenarios and worry yourself, get proper information. The condition also known as hemoptysis can result in the appearance of blood in the sputum. It can happen when you start coughing or spitting. It may look drastic and you may fear. But, young and healthy people need not to worry about the issue. So, if you no other health problem, it means the problem may not affect yours severely.

Underlying infections or other mild respiratory conditions can result in the scenario. People suffering from asthma and bronchitis can also see the blood in their sputum. But, the alarming amount of blood you cough up signifies a big problem. The frequent appearance of blood in mucus may also indicate some serious problem. Therefore, you need to consult your doctor immediately. Stomach or lung disease can lead to the problem, which requires immediate medical care Read ahead to know the exact causes and treatment options for the condition.

Factors Leading To Blood In Mucus

When you first see the blood in the mucus, you start panicking. From where does the blood from? It is the question that arises in everyone’s mind. The appearance of blood in the sputum occurs due to a wide range of factors. So, it can originate from anywhere parts of the body. In the majority of the cases, it comes from your lung. At times, the problems in the digestive tract can lead to coughing up blood. The problem referred to as hematemesis can trigger the problem. Let us see in detail how it happens.



It is the condition that causes the blood to come from the lungs. So how can you differentiate? The blood with a bright color a frothy texture means it has originated from the lungs. It mostly appears after coughing persistently. You experience it mainly due to a lung infection. But, if it appears frequently, it points to a severe lung problem.


The appearance of dark blood with traces of food means you have some serious issue in the digestive tract. It can also occur due to some issues in your stomach. The condition needs immediate medical attention as it can trigger severe complications. Therefore, never ignore the issue.

Causes And Associated Symptoms Of Blood In Mucus

Blood in mucus may appear due to several conditions. Some may indicate small problems that resolve quickly. But, you can also see blood in the sputum due to some severe health complications. It is always better to see your doctor to check the exact reason triggering the problem. By detecting the issue, you can get treatment to rectify the issue and prevent it from worsening. So, the common causes associated with the issue are:



It occurs due to the inflammation of the airways. Persistent inflammation can trigger a cough and produce sputum. Bronchitis becomes chronic when it reoccurs frequently. So, if you have chronic bronchitis, then you are at high risk of coughing blood.



The condition can result in the enlargement of parts of your lungs. The permanent enlargement can affect your breathing pattern. So, you can experience wheezing and shortness of breath. The health condition occurs often with an infection, which requires immediate medical attention.

A Severe Cough

If you cough persistently for some time, then it irritates your upper respiratory tract. The prolonged cough can put a strain on the respiratory tract and result in the tearing of the blood vessels in the area. So, you can see blood along with the sputum.


A nosebleed can occur due to several reasons. In most cases, it occurs in the septum. The bleeding originates from the front bottom section of the septum. Your nose has several blood vessels that can get damaged due to various reason. So, when you blow your nose, you can see blood in it. The bleeding can travel through your nose to the throat. It can cause the appearance of blood when you start coughing.

Use Of Recreational Drugs

Recreational drug use can affect your body adversely. It also results in the appearance of blood in the mucus. Drugs like cocaine are mostly inhaled through the nose. So, it irritates the upper respiratory tract leading to inflammation. Therefore, you can see blood in the mucus.


Some medical conditions may lead you to take blood-thinning medications to avoid complications. So, the medicines also known as anticoagulants prevent the blood clots. But, it makes the blood thin, increasing your risk of bleeding.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

It is a serious lung problem with severe health complications. The problem needs immediate medical care as the problem can even cause death. You can experience the following signs associated with COPD like:

  • A persistent cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Production of sputum
  • The appearance of blood in sputum
  • Wheezing


It another severe lung infection resulting in the appearance of blood in the sputum. Your lung tissue can experience inflammation due to the infection. The bacterial attack results in the inflammation. So, people with pneumonia can experience the following signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • A severe Cough
  • Chest pain while breathing

In older people, the problem tends to create confusion. It can escalate into a fatal problem. Therefore, get an appointment with your doctor to treat the issue as soon as possible.

Pulmonary Embolism

It is the problem occurring due to the blood clot obstructing the pulmonary artery. The problem is severe as it causes life-threatening complications. So, patients suffering from the problem can experience the following signs:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood

Pulmonary Edema

It is the condition that leads to fluid accumulation in your lungs. The problem mostly affects people with heart problems. So, when you suffer from the issue, you can see other signs like:

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Occasional chest pain
  • Pink frothy mucus

Lung Cancer

Smoking can result in cancer. People who use tobacco products are affected by lung cancer. The problem can affect people who are forty years or more. So, the serious problem can trigger complications like:

  • A severe cough that never goes away
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bone pain
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain

Neck Cancer

The cancerous presence in the windpipe, larynx or throat can also result in the appearance of blood in mucus. When you experience the problem, you may observe symptoms like

  • Swelling
  • A sore that never heals completely
  • Red or white patch in the mouth
  • A sore throat that does not cure

Cystic Fibrosis

It is a serious condition that you inherit from your parents. It can damage your lungs adversely. So, people with health complication can see the following signs:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • A persistent cough
  • Thick mucus with blood in it

Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis (Wegener Granulomatosis)

It is an autoimmune disease that results in the inflammation of blood vessels in certain organs. So, you can experience inflammation of the blood vessels in the kidneys, lungs, sinuses. It can trigger the following signs:

  • A runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fever
  • Wheezing


It is the health condition that results in a severe lung infection. Harmful bacteria can affect the functioning of your lungs and cause the problem. The lung infection can result in several physical issues like:

  • Fever
  • Experience pain while breathing
  • Profuse sweating
  • Agony when coughing
  • Chest pain
  • A persistent and bad cough

The health condition can affect your lungs badly. It can result in the blood in mucus. So, you need to see your doctor get treatment immediately.

Narrowed Heart Valves

Problems with your heart valve can also result in bleeding and appearance of blood in sputum. Your heart has a valve known as the mitral valve. The narrowing of the mitral valve can result in a condition known as mitral valve stenosis. So, it can trigger the following signs in your body:

  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Trouble breathing while lying down
  • Fatigue with increased physical activity
  • Swollen legs or feet
  • Heart palpitations

A significant amount of blood can appear in your mucus. Therefore, you need to see the doctor get the necessary treatment.

Serious Trauma

Serious trauma to your chest can result in the appearance of blood in the mucus. An injury to the chest or accident can cause problems in your chest. Consult a doctor to assess the issue more closely to get the necessary medical help.

When Blood In Mucus Needs Medical Intervention?

It is a relevant question you may wonder yourself. When do you need to seek medical advice? The answer is, when you encounter some circumstances, you need immediate medical care. So, the conditions that require proper professional medical assistance are:

  • You see a large quantity of blood in the mucus. The alarming amount of blood signifies some severe complication that needs doctor’s attention.
  • When you see the blood in sputum at frequent intervals.
  • The blood you cough up appears dark in color. You can also see food particles in the blood. It means you have some severe problems in the digestive tract.

So, you need to see your doctor immediately to avoid further complications. Apart from the above-mentioned scenarios, you need to take note of certain signs that indicate serious problems. Therefore, get a doctor’s appointment when you see any of the symptoms mentioned below:

The symptoms mean you need medical treatment as soon as possible. So, get an appointment with your doctor to get the issue sorted out. The professional help can help you detect the actual health problem leading to the blood in mucus.

Diagnosis Of Blood In Mucus

Once you approach your doctor to determine the actual cause of the appearance of blood in mucus. So, the doctor can determine the problem with some diagnostic techniques. It will help eliminate other problem and find the root cause triggering the problem. Therefore, the following method can diagnose the problem precisely:

Physical Examination

During the physical examination, the doctor will also get details about your medical condition. Certain medical conditions can result in the blood appearing in your sputum. After collecting the information, your doctor performs a thorough physical examination. During the examination, your doctor asks you to cough. Then, the medical professional checks your mouth and nose for determining the sites of bleeding.

Complete Blood Count Test

To make a proper diagnosis, your blood needs testing in the lab. So, the complete blood count helps determine the white blood cells, red blood cells, and the platelets. It can shed information on the infection or clotting problem you may experience.

Chest X-ray

It provides your doctor with the visuals of the chest region. So, your doctor can determine the actual reason resulting in blood in mucus. It shows congestion in the lungs, mass in the chest region or the fluid that causes your distress.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

It produces detailed images that provide clear visuals of the chest. It also reveals the actual reason for coughing up blood.



It is a diagnostic technique that can also sort the problem resulting in the blood in your sputum. During the test, a camera gets lowered through the mouth or nose using a flexible tube. So, it can detect the issues in the windpipe as well as the airways.

Blood Chemistry Profile

It helps to measure the kidney function as well as electrolytes. The abnormality in the results can trigger the problem.

Coagulation Tests

It checks your blood’s ability to clot. The problems with clotting can lead to blood in the mucus.

Arterial Blood Gas

It is the test that measures the oxygen as well as carbon dioxide levels in the blood. At times, the low levels of oxygen can result in the blood in sputum.

Pulse Oximetry

Pulse Oximetry
Source :

Another test can also determine the oxygen levels in the blood. Using a probe on the finger, it determines the oxygen levels in the blood.

Treatment Options For Blood In Mucus

Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor can detect the actual cause of the problem. It will help come up with a treatment plan. It focuses on stopping the bleeding and curing the cause triggering it. So, the doctor can opt for the following treatment methods depending on your problem:


Some infections or other factors can develop into inflammation. It can result in the bleeding and you may cough up blood. Therefore, your doctor can prescribe steroids to treat the inflammation. It can also stop the bleeding.


In some cases of inflammation, instead of steroid antibiotics may prove more effective. So, the doctor can suggest medication. Problems like pneumonia or tuberculosis can lead to the blood in the sputum. It is effectively alleviated with the right dose of antibiotics.


It is a technique that not only helps your doctor take a closer look at the source causing the bleeding but also rectify it. The procedure uses an instrument known as an endoscope to see the inside of your vital organs. It is inserted into your airways through your mouth or nose. The camera attached at the end can help the doctor see the exact problem. It also has tools attached at its end. So, your doctor can stop the bleeding or remove the blood clot. It helps alleviate the problem depending on the problem you suffer.


The major blood vessel in your body may experience some problem. It can result in the blood in the mucus. So, your doctor suggests the procedure to correct it. Embolization refers to the procedure that identifies the source of bleeding and seals it. A catheter can pass into the blood vessel. After identifying the source of the leak, chemical, a metal coil or gelatin sponge fragment can seal it off. So, it stops the bleeding and you will stop coughing up blood.

Blood Product Transfusion

Blood Product Transfusion

Blood-thinning or the loss of your blood’s ability to clot can result in the blood in sputum. Therefore, blood product transfusion can help you overcome the problem. So, elements in the blood like platelets, clotting factor or plasma transfusion can avoid the problem. It resolves the blood thinning.

Chemotherapy Or Radiotherapy

Cancerous presence in your lungs can result in blood presence in your mucus. So, you need treatment as soon as possible to prevent fatal complication. Cancer is a serious condition, which left untreated can spread to other parts of the body. It can result in your death. Therefore, you need chemotherapy or radiation therapy depending on the severity of your cancer. It can destroy the cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading. It is effective to cure cancer but has some side effects.


Invasive surgery is the last option suggested by your doctor to prevent the blood in sputum. It is the treatment option when you have lung cancer. So, it removes the cancerous or damaged portion of the lungs that triggers the bleeding. It is the step adopted by the doctor when other treatments fail to stop the bleeding. So, it is the option best implemented when the bleeding becomes severe or persistent.


Blood in mucus in small quantities can never become a serious health issue when you see it in small quantities. But, people with a medical history of lung problems need to get help immediately. It signifies underlying severe respiratory problems or other complications. Therefore, it requires further evaluation to determine its effects on your overall health. Infections or small issues in your lungs or digestive tract can trigger the problem. The mild problems may resolve on its own. But, other cases need proper treatment to overcome them. Make sure you consult your doctor when you see a large amount of blood in mucus or at frequent intervals. Getting proper medical care and treatment can stop the issue from flaring up and affecting your life adversely.

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  1. john chalmers

    well written and informative, thankyou

  2. jose balmadrid

    Very informative, helpful, readily accessible. You do a humane help especially to people who may not have ready information before they can have immediate access to doctors and other health professionals. Thank you and God bless you.

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