blood in Sputum

Hello everyone, i am a very confused and worried person. I use to be a smoker of 20 years. I am 39 years old. It started 6 months ago when i fist spit up blood two days later i quit cigarettes. The reason i use the term spitting up blood because i cant tell if its from my lungs or from my upper respiratory or if i am coughing it up. i spit up blood almost everyday for about 4 months but i dont really have a cough. Actually i dont cough often only to clear my throat. I was getting a lot of mucus build up in throat. i have gone to ENT three times and they said my nose and throat is fine. Then two months after first spitting up blood i started getting chest pain. Its dull pain at any part of my chest and my ribs. At 3 months after spitting up blood i got my CT-scan. Everything was normal. I was relieved and expected the blood to go away. But it still here but now the pattern has changed. I get blood only in the morning now. Its when i wake up and clear my throat with a cough to get the mucus up that i see speck or small blob of blood. Its has been over 6 month and i still cough up brown or black tar from my lungs. Can anyone give me any information? Thank you

23 Replies

Have you seen a doctor recently. Clearly something isn't right and needs further investigation. Xxx

Its not unusual to cough up Specks of blood could be infection or coughing vigarosly

Most likely be from gum disease or lose tooth WHEN we spit everyone will suck the gums and thats usaly where blood comes from.

If when you brush your teeth you have little blood that be your answer.

Don't neglect it. If something is worrying you it needs sorting. Get back to your doctors and request that a sample of your phlegm be tested. Please let us know the outcome won't you?

I have been coughing blood on and off for 13 years, the docs think it is due to infection, usually it is just small amounts mixed with mucus.

I also have gum disease and i can tell the difference between if the blood is from my gums or chest. If from my gums it is bright red and very little mucus and I can taste it before I feel the need to spit (sorry) if it is from my chest it usually mixed with mucus and happens mostly in the evening and during infection

It really dose need sorting though, Ive had loads of tests and finally they found out I had bronchietasis but it took ages and many trips to docs and cons saying something isn't right.

Hi lejaya, my doctor seems reluctant to give me tests. What tests should I request? I already seen Ent, and x Ray and ct scan

have they done any lung function test or blood tests? also mucus samples might be helpful if you think you have an infection, I do samples when I have an infection.

My doc did blood test and said its normal. No lung function test because he said I exercise and no shortness of breath. I haven't done mucus test. Every time I ask him for that test he look at me funny

I have found GPs have been very dismissive whenever I mention coughing blood, it is only my consultant who seems to take this seriously and it was my cons who arranged the ct scan, blood tests etc.

I coughed up quite a lot of blood when I had my last infection in july and it went on for weeks, my GP just said to me "well thats your thing isn't it" which was very unhelpful,

However when I told my cons she was really concerned and will be sending me for a bronchoscopy if it happens again.

Could you maybe ask your doc to see a consultant, there are quite a few different tests they can do to see how well your lungs are working or detect any problems.


p.s it is also my cons who gives me the mucus sample pots but GPs can give them to

Hi Sam, a blood test should show if you have an infection or not.....did the doctor say what they were looking for.

I would go back and ask for a sputum pot so that it can be tested to see if there is an infection.

I have coughed blood in the past, I was asked if it was streaks or clots....streaks may be caused by trauma from coughing when little blood vessels are damaged.

Can you gauge how much blood you cough it just a bit or a lot.

Perhaps in the morning don't try and strain to cough, see if the mucus in your throat will come up more easily after a warm drink .

Take care

Hi knitter, my doctor gave me CBC, white blood cell diff test from what I remember. I don't cough really. In the morning I just clear my throat with a little cough to get the mucus up to spit out. Otherwise I don't cough. The blood is very small streak and very small blob of blood. Blob is usually slightly rusty and some a little dried

How do I get a consultant? Will my insurance cover? Did you ever get a bronchoscopy? I was told that this procedure is quite invasive and can cause problems.

Your GP can refer you to a consultant and i had a bronchoscopy last year and it is slightly invasive but I was sedated so don't really remember much. My consultant will be doing another one if I cough up loads of blood again.


Well if you are (or have been a smoker) and over 35 you should be given a lung function test. You can have no symptoms but you might still have copd and the earlier it's caught the better. Ask your doctor for a spirimetry. This is just a machine which you blow into, fast, then slow etc. and it measures your lung function.

I guess you are from USA? Most of us here are British so we have the NHS. There are some members from all over the world so hopefully someone will come in to advise you on insurance.

There is also the American Lung Association you can join. x

Hi coughalot2, I am from the U.S. Thank you for your response. I will ask for that test.

Hi Sam, sorry to hear you are feeling worried. I've coughed up blood on a good few occasions and the doctors just say it's blood capillaries popping as the lung linings are so thin.It is always wise to get checked out though as it can be a sign of more serious issues.Try not to worry too much as that is not good for us neither!😊 chin up, hugs huff xxx

Hi Sam,

When you clean your teeth in the mornings try sucking on your gums to see if you can draw blood from them.If you spit a little blood then it would indicate dental problems.

Stop worrying it could be as simple as that.

Be happy and flourish. x

Blood can come from your nose and appear in mucus you either cough up or 'find' at the back of your throat.

If you have no wheezing or shortness of breath, a spirometry will tell you nothing new - for sure you'll get results that are in the normal range, which is quite wide. If you had a 'go' on a peak-flow meter to ensure you're blowing normal would be just as helpful, and takes about 2 seconds.

You do mean a HRCT scan? You're not confusing it with an X-ray?

A high resolution computed tomography ( HRCT) scan is the best test, and you've already had that with nothing found.

I'd be more concerned about the 'black tar' as you describe it. I'd let the Dr see that.

Bleeding tooth or gum and your swallowing it, seen that before

Hi Sam510, have you had a dental exam since your problems started? If not then it is a good idea to get one soon. Coughing up stuff is pretty normal after you quit smoking, not sure about black, tarry stuff, but barring any health problems, the coughing should settle down after awhile....maybe even a year or so. I've never coughed up blood so I know next to nothing about it. Sorry, but hopefully it turns out to be not terribly serious.

🌸 Krysta

I would ask GP to send you to lung Consultaint should have seen one if you have ask GO to refer you again need to find out why bleeding all the time

Hello Everyone, I have read all of your responses and i want to say thank you. I have been waiting because i do not know what else to do. Within the month of September 2016 i have had 3 occasions of blood when i clear my throat in the morning. Once or twice from just clearing throat without coughing and the other time i coughed first then clear throat. Sounds weird but i feel like if i try hard enough to cough or gag i almost alway can spit up blood. It has happened several times. Just this morning i cough to clear my throat and saw a speck of blood. Its light red. I got anxious so i coughed again to see if there are more blood and after a couple tries i see tinges of blood in my saliva. I see a couple replies on here about gum bleeding so i went to get my teeth and gums deep cleaned. I did have gingivitis so i thought that could be it. But after the deep cleaning i barely have bleeding gums even when i brush my teeth so i don't think its my gums. I told my doctor what had happened and he said there is nothing else he can do. He even said no more tests. I ask him to reassure me but even that he can't say with certainty. I feel helpless. What should i do? I have had 3 chest X-rays and 1 Ct scan about 4 months ago. Also i would like to add my chest pain has been around for about 6 months now and it hasn't gone away. The pattern of the chest pain changed though. Before i would feel it almost anywhere around the chest and sometime under both my armpits and rib area under both my chest. But now its almost always in my upper chest on both side and in the middle upper chest. It happen a lot when i get up after laying down and also when i been over or twist my upper body left or right. Can anyone in here maybe give me some more advice or any clues on what i am dealing with? Would another ct scan be an option even though i did it 4 months ago? Should i request a bronchoscopy? Any reply would be appreciated. I am worry about my health. Thanks.

I also would i to add i still cough up speckled brown tar i believe a lot even over 7 months of quitting cigarettes.

Hello Sam510 . Oh I so understand what it's like to be worried and confused. I cough up a bit of blood if I have a lung infection but I wasn't a smoker. I have restrictive lung disease. I would say though keep getting a second, third even fourth opinion till you get an answer and help. And do come here often. It really, really helps. Sending you a hug.

Cas xx 🎵

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