What are some causes of coughing up blood?


Quick Answer

Some causes of coughing up blood are tuberculosis, pneumonia and pulmonary embolism, according to Mayo Clinic and MedicineNet. Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection that most often affects the lungs, according to Mayo Clinic. It can be chronic or acute.

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Full Answer

Tuberculosis can also be latent or active. In latent tuberculosis, the patient harbors the bacteria that causes the disease but does not become ill himself, says Mayo Clinic. He is also not contagious but must still take steps to make sure his tuberculosis does not become active. In active tuberculosis, the patient is ill and contagious.

Pneumonia is also a disease that affects the lungs, but it can be caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi, says Mayo Clinic. With pneumonia, the air sacs in the lungs are inflamed, which in turn causes them to be filled with pus or fluid. Besides coughing up blood, the patient suffers chills and fever and finds it hard to breathe. Very young children, older people and people who are already ill are at the most risk from pneumonia.

A pulmonary embolism is an obstruction in a lung artery that is caused by a blood clot or, less frequently, other bodily debris, that forms elsewhere in the body and travels to the lungs through the bloodstream, says MedicineNet. The patient has chest pain and shortness of breath besides bloody sputum. A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency that can cause death if not treated promptly.

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