British Lung Foundation
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Blood in phlegm

Hi I’m quite worried I’ve had chest aches for 2months. No real cough. Had chest X-ray and a E C G which came back ok. Have started with an occasional cough that brings up pieces of thick phlegm white blood in. Dr says he doesn’t think I have an infection but has referred me to chest dr. I am worried what could be the cause. I have moderate COPD. My Fev1 has deteriorated from 66% to around 53% in the past 3 months.

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This may sound strange but have you checked that your nose isn't bleeding? I had the same issue and had not idea, once I realized I have nailed it down because every time it happens, I blow my nose and find blood. It runs into your chest area and then you end up coughing it backup.

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Thank you for your reply. I hope you are right as I had a bit of a nose bleed the other day( just blew it too hard I think) but I do have chest pain particularly after bringing up the jelly like stuff with blood in it and my lung function has definitely gone down .

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I have a respiratory Hospital appointment next Monday , a little afraid.

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I would try not to worry too much, most of the time blood from a cough is something acute. The fact that your xray is clear is usually a good sign but they may want further imaging just to be sure. It sounds like they're just ruling things out.

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Thanks

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Hello Chriskho .

As long as your doctor is checking it out and making sure there is nothing they are overlooking I think you are doing all you can to make sure your bases are covered. The chest doctor will probably do a bit more digging. If I have a cough I sometimes bring up a little blood. At first I was alarmed but now I know it happens from time to time. Please try not to worry too much.

As for your FEV1 I find the test results can vary a lot depending on how tired I am , the time of year, the dryness or humidity of the air etc. I think its an important test but by no means the irrefutable last word on our condition.

Please take heart. I hope you feel better very soon. Take care.

Cas xx 🍁

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Thanks Caspiana I hope you are right about all your points. I’m particularly worried about my breathing going downhill - not the numbers but how I can breathe less over the past 3 months.🤞

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Hello Chriskho . Understandably so. Has your doctor ever mentioned pulmonary rehabilitation? I know in England the courses are six weeks long. Many people have benefited from it. There are also breathe easy groups I understand. Perhaps it would be in your interest to inquire if you haven't already. xx 🌸

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Thanks Cas. Dr says you have to have severe COPD to be referred to rehab. My local breathe easy group meet when I’m at work.

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I have done 3 courses of pulmonary rehab and my COPD is not severe. Maybe your GP has wrong information. Ask at your respiratory hospital appointment on Monday (it was the consultant at the hospital who first recommended pulmonary rehab for me). It is so worthwhile it would be a shame for you to miss out. Good luck x

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Ok thanks will ask on Monday at the hospital. Trouble is I work , nurse, 2days a week and they can be any day.

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It's only a 6-week course; could you not change your working days to suit - it is for the benefit of your health so hopefully your employer will be flexible, as it will benefit you so much x

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Thanks I’m a nurse I have to work what I’m given but have found out all about the rehab programme and am now following the regime at home. Breathing ok now and feel much better. My Fev1 is steady around 60% and my chest is MUCH better without the vape!

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A step at a time Chriskho . Don't try to tackle everything at once. Take your time. Best wishes to you. xx 🌞

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