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COPD -- coughing-up

AR66 profile image
49 Replies

Hi everyone. I recently had a rare face to face with a GP and showed him a photo of my blood stained phlegm which I've been coughing up from time to time. I told him that I had recently been for a 2nd scan on my lungs to see if the lesions had gotten any bigger but hospital never sent me the results. The GP searched for my results from the hospital and told me there was no change with the size of the lesions. I then asked what the blood stained phlegm could be caused by , he looked at my throat and said everything was fine and not to worry. He said my lung scan is ok and said that if he knew the results from the hospital before hand that he wouldn't have wasted time on a face to face appointment with me. He made me feel like I had wasted his time and I left near in tears. I guess my question is, should I be worried about blood in my phlegm and does anyone else with COPD suffer with the same issue?.....

49 Replies
Lol1944 profile image

I get tiny bits of blood if I cough very hard, usually when getting signs of chest infection. As for scans I have had five in fifteen months. The results are different every single time so I just don't worry about the any longer. As for wasting your gps time I wouldn't give it a second thought!

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Lol1944

Thank you so much for your time. I've just finished a course of antibiotics so I guess I'm just going to have to accept the fact that this is the (norm) for people with COPD. I wish you well with your own journey..... thank you again and look forward to future conversation's 💛

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944 in reply to AR66

It is imperative to get a correct diagnosis and your gp cannot do this. Best to pursue a diagnosis before worrying about copd and matters relevant to.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Lol1944

You're absolutely right. I'm going to ask for a different doctor to look into my problem further. My anxiety is through the roof and is causing more problems for me. The doctor involved was abrupt and unsympathetic and basically couldn't be bothered with me, as if to say "you've brought it on yourself"...... definitely going to push this with a different GPOnce again thank you 🙏

Tia4209 profile image
Tia4209 in reply to AR66

Sorry the Doctor was so abrupt and dismissive, it is probably how he treats most patients regardless of their reason for the making the appointment. He was at fault and not you.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Tia4209

Thank you.... I'm feeling a lot better with support from you and others. I don't feel so alone 🤗

Wonderboy6 profile image
Wonderboy6 in reply to AR66

Unfortunately, from consultant down to gp, they are under the impression they are god.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Wonderboy6

🙏💛..... we'll keep fighting my friend.

anng18 profile image
anng18 in reply to AR66

Hi AR66,

I really sympathise with you. My GP was very similar and I hadn't seen a Dr., face to face for 3 years. Made me feel worse than when I went in. Horrible manner and no excuse for it - I don't care how overworked they are - a pleasant manner goes a long way. I went regarding loss of weight = was told to eat more and offered anti-depressants - yet again! I'm not depressed!

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to anng18

Shocking!!!.....they have to be seen that they're doing something (another ticky box) for the records..... we're all just numbers and 👉☑️Bless you 💛

Donniebrasco profile image
Donniebrasco in reply to anng18

Makes me wonder what gp s are doing? I was told 3 weeks till an appointment, but at 10'30am the surgery was empty, not just not many patients, empty.I saw my Dr walking down a staircase and said, "could I have a signature on a prescription", all I needed.

No, he was 'too busy' too bloody rude I'd say.

anng18 profile image
anng18 in reply to Donniebrasco

Couldn't agree more with you!

My mother was a Maths teacher and she always said they should of accepted the kids that had both manner, wanted to be doctors for the right reasons and who were maybe slightly worse at doing exams. Instead she saw a lot of cold characters enter medicine, who were good at doing exams - but not necessarily more intelligent.

Unfortunately, what I witnessed, when my mother was in hospital, were a lot of dis-interested student doctors. They were more interested in their social life than doctoring.

Lol1944 profile image

With respect it is a respiratory specialist you need. A gp is just that a general practitioner. Simply request a referral to which you are entitled. A refusal is grounds for complaint. Accept no excuses.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Lol1944

I'm having my COPD yearly review tomorrow morning. It's difficult having to repeat my situation all the time to different clinicians. I've never seen the same one twice and I've never seen the specialist who first diagnosed me 3yrs ago☹️she moves from one clinic to another. It's nurse practitioners who do the yearly reviews.

Cruise1 profile image
Cruise1 in reply to Lol1944

I wasn’t impressed by the respiratory specialist I saw after waiting 2 years. Quick glance at spironetry results.Then said “ Is inhaler helping? Try without it to see if it makes any difference. I wouldn’t have prescribed that one anyway. See you in 3 months time.” Not sure I will go back there.

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944 in reply to Cruise1

Simply request referral to another specialist. Make written complaint about the useless one. It is very unfortunate but I have learnt over many years that one has to be demanding of attention to matters that are of concern.

Cruise1 profile image
Cruise1 in reply to Lol1944

Next available appointment June 2024! As I’m not too bothered by symptoms other than slight chesty cough some days it’s just not worth it.

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944 in reply to Cruise1

Ask your nhs trust if there is a respiratory team in you area.

Cruise1 profile image
Cruise1 in reply to Lol1944

Still not up and running. I’m not bothered.

Bevvy profile image

Anyone can get small flecks of blood if coughing hard. The lining of the throat is full of little blood vessels and these can burst under pressure. It usually isn’t anything to worry about and it’s a shame your gp didn’t tell you this. Coughing clots of blood is of concern and warrants further investigation. So sounds like all is ok for you at moment. Don’t worry to much about harsh comments from gp, they may well have phrased things poorly and it’s hardly your fault they didn’t check scan before appointment.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Bevvy

Thank you for your understanding word's. I'm overwhelmed by the support from everyone. My anxiety sometimes takes over and often isolates from the outside world and the feeling that nobody understands me and even worse, nobody cares........ thank you very much 🙏

Wonderboy6 profile image

I would be more than inclined to dump that stupid doctor. He has no idea whatsoever how you are feeling or what you are putting up with.

ostiad profile image


Morrison10 profile image

Yes GPs can be unhelpful, unsympathetic at times, might be because of all pressure they’re under atm. Lots are taking early retirement, making things worse for those left, and sometimes it’s reflected in how speak patients. Hope you can find nicer one. Good luck Jean x

Alberta56 profile image

The first time I saw blood in my phlegm I thought I was doomed like John Keats and Emily Bronte. I' m not surprised you were upset. Your doctor is a tactless wally. I hope he is a good doctor in every other respect.

Have just read your reply to Lol1944. Obviously that doctor is NBG. Good luck with a different one.

Tykelady profile image
Tykelady in reply to Alberta56

I know it's no laughing matter but your first line was amusing. I too have visualised the pale invalid coughing into a white cloth. x

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56 in reply to Tykelady

I thought it was funny in retrospect- I'm certainly no Keats or Bronte. 😊😊😊

teenieleek profile image
teenieleek in reply to Alberta56

I think they had TB but know what you mean, I always leap to the worst possible outcome too.

TazEdward profile image

Ayyy I'm sorry your GP wasn't that helpful. Have you tried a physio therapist? Mine recommended using a flutter in my morning routine to clear out for the day.

I got one from here:

Tykelady profile image

If I have severe coughing I can sometimes see blood and sometimes nasal blood can mix with the phlegm. It is caused by small broken blood vessels, so I was told.

Williewind profile image

Always get a copy of your scan.

Digger0 profile image

Sorry your GP was so dismissive. With our surgery we can send photos to the doctor for him to look at, which saves his and our time.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Digger0

I showed my doctor photos for 3 different day's, just looked at the back of my throat, told me it was fine and sent me on my merry way. I've now been advised to see another GP so that's what I'm gonna do 👍

Eastend555 profile image

Ok firstly he has no clue just fobbing you off

The majority of GPs will not see you and even a phone call is 3-4 weeks wait

The fact is he wasted your time dont get upset over idiots XXX

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Eastend555

That's exactly how I feel..... just another statistic he can't be bothered with because it's all my own doing, smoking etc......

Piperava profile image

Personally I would change my Dr. There is absolutely no need for them to make you feel the way he/she did. Where is the bed side manner? They are there to reassure you not dismiss your concerns. Hope you get some answers. Take care.

katiepudding2 profile image

I have COPD and asthma and from time to time had blood in my sputum, usually when I had infections

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to katiepudding2

Bless you.... double trouble. 🙏💛

Timberman profile image

The most common cause of blood in phlegm is an infection; did the GP take a sample for pathology? If not I should talk to your local COPD team who will happily supply a sample bottle and you can take it yourself, fill in the label and hand it in.

However I have been told it can also be accused by severe coughing and thus not be indicative of anything beyond the cough. However the cause of that should be investigated. GPS are exactly that general practitioners and COPD is a specialism. Your local COPD team is better capable of helping I suggest.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Timberman

I've never seen my COPD specialist since I was diagnosed 3yrs ago. It's general nurse practitioners who do the yearly reviews. I had my 3rd review today and took a picture of bloody phlegm to present to her and she suggested I make an appointment with a different doctor and not the same unsympathetic male doctor whoneglected to offer me any support.

I must add that most GP staff are very professional and caring and I think I have been unlucky with this one doctor...... I'm going to have to be stronger in the future and start fighting for myself.......🙏💛thank you so much

Ern007 profile image

I have coughed up blood stained mucus - a sample went to Dr but was nothing malignant, probably from scarring...\\Scary when it happens...

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Ern007

Oh .... it's seems never ending, different symptoms popping up all the time and more anxiety build-up....It's good to talk though if nothing else 🙏💛

Alberta56 profile image

It would have taken 5 minutes for the GP to reassure you and saved you a great deal of worry. Where have bedside manners gone?

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Alberta56


Patk1 profile image

Very often,if sm amount,its usually because v small capillaries rupture when coughing and is usually nothing to worry least u know scans ok

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to Patk1

Thank you dear friend 💛

Tempo57 profile image

Your GP’s remarks to your worrisome questions, with evidence of blood in phlegm shock me. All he/she did physically was to look down your throat….(the little that can be seen with the naked eye in a GP’s office).

If this is what GP practices are coming to, then we will be left with no hope for receiving better health care in the future.

I would change my doctor and practice tomorrow if I were you.

Best wishes, T57

KaraKim profile image

Had blood in my phlegm today, bright red rather than dark red so I suppose it's bleeding from a superficial area ( mb the throat) due to the constant coughing. My GP practice is usually kind and caring but under a lot of pressure as a teaching practice. I like to see my own GP as I trust him implicitly but he is senior and mentoring young/new GPs. Thank you for sharing your experience of COPD related blood stains cos it's helped me today. . As I'm not in pain I don't think I'll bother A&E with splashes of blood on my tissues. I've started a course of steroids from my emergency pack and if symptoms persist I'll phone the surgery tomorrow. I've had a bout of flu that's letting up a bit now but blood in phlegm is a tad worrying.

AR66 profile image
AR66 in reply to KaraKim

I understand completely. I was also told that snoring could be part of the problem.....🙏💛

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