Cystic Fibrosis Questions - coughing up blood
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coughing up blood
Feb 19, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Has anyone ever just been doing their treatments and after finishing them felt the urge to cough and when you did it was bright red blood that was coughed up? what causes this and what does it mean?

I know this may be really irrelevant and out of place, however I just wanted to say, thank you Terri and everyone who responded. About three months ago my boyfriend sent me a picture of the blood he was coughing up, and the only thing I could do other than not panic, was to research on the internet while he got in touch with his doctor, and that research is how I found this site. Where in which, I have talked to a lot of great CFers and many relations to CFers. This post quelled the panic I was pushing down until I got word from my boyfriend that it really was nothing to be overly worried about.
Jul 03, 2013 at 12:01 AM
For me, I always heard a gurgling sound before coughing, and then I would cough up bright red blood. Any of the following may be the underlying cause of the bleeding:

-Reaction to a particular nebulizer treatment (e.g. Pulmozyme or Hypertonic saline)
-Vitamin K deficiency

Infection is the leading cause of hemoptysis. When the bronchial arteries become swollen and inflamed in response to an infection, they may burst and bleed. Unless the bleeding is massive (i.e. more than a few tablespoons in an hour) then this is rarely cause for alarm. It's just one of the frightening and unpleasant side effects of cystic fibrosis.

In the past, whenever I used the nebulizer (Hypertonic saline) I coughed up blood after I was done, also whenever I used a Bronchodilator (puffer) I coughed up lots of blood as well. So I avoid both like the plague, and I do different things to stay healthy (I have my list of treatments on my profile)...
Hope this helps!
Feb 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM
sometimes if its just IN the mucus it could be just popped vessels from coughing too much or too Hard. If its straight blood, no mucus, you should call your drs asap! and make sure it doesnt continue to happen but weather it does or doesn't you should tell ur Dr.s asap
Feb 19, 2010 at 9:45 PM
I have been coughing up blood pretty regularly since I was about 12 years old. Here's what I've been told over the years about how to think about it and how to treat it:

If the blood is streaked in mucus, it's generally not something to be too alarmed about. As long of course that it doesn't continue for days on end.

If it's pure bright red blood, the most important thing is to clear it out of your lungs. Infections love to chill out and hide in blood sitting in our lungs. I always make sure to do my best to clear the blood (without coughing so that I might rupture something of course). Also, you want to make sure to remain calm, I've heard from many a CFer that being panicked or stressed has increased their hemoptysis. I've also been told to hold off on Pulmozyme until there is 24 hours of blood free coughs and that light CPT can be resumed in about 12 hours.

Finally, like others have said, the main causes are infection or a ruptured blood vessel due to most likely irritation or coughing.

Hope all these answers clear things up for you mom!!
Feb 19, 2010 at 4:34 PM
When I was younger and even more recently (as of September), I used to burst blood vessels in my lungs all the time. The docs always told me that the only thing you can really do is let them bleed out and then rest. Hard to rest when you're literally hacking your lungs out.

This past Sept, I coughed out over 34 ounces of blood over a period of 5 days. After day 3, I went to the hospital and found out it was caused by an infection. So, depending on the amount you are coughing out, could be an infection, could just be stress on your lungs. DEFINITELY don't wait until day 3 if you are hacking up a lot of blood!

And DO NOT take any Ibuprofen (Advil) during this time, it will only make it worse.
Feb 19, 2010 at 4:30 PM
Usually when i cough up blood it means that i have a lung infection and need antibiotics.
Feb 19, 2010 at 2:22 PM
One time I was coughing up blood and I went to the docter and something was wrong i can't remember what though.
Feb 19, 2010 at 1:36 PM
Coughing hard and/or continuous coughing can actually cause irritation and small amounts of bright red blood. It could just be from that, but I would definitely recommend keeping in close touch with your doctor about this issue, just to be safe. :)
Feb 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM
I have not personally coughed up blood (thank god) but several of my friends have. If you cough alot and i mean alot (typical cf person), then eventually your lungs build up scar tissue. When you cough up blood its because your ripping at your lungs scar tissue.
Feb 19, 2010 at 1:07 PM
whenever i cough up blood, it's not necessarily something to ignore. It gernerally means I need antibiotics and that the infection is causing irritation to my lungs. You want to jump on this right away so as for it not to get out of control. Depending on i feel and how much blood i coughed up i will either be put on oral antibiotics with strict at home treatments or a hospital stay with iv antibiotics anywhere from a few days or a couple weeks. Treat it while you can! I've made the mistake of thinking i could get better on my own i without my doctor's help or antibiotics and it sent me into a whirlwind of hospital stays, being underweight and constantly trying to fight off sickness. Whenever I don't feel well, I take charge and it helps keep me out of the hospital for longer periods of time. I went from 8 times one year, to once a year now.
Feb 19, 2010 at 12:41 PM
My fiance coughs up blood every so often. Sometimes during or after a run, during or after treatments, or even just doing normal daily activities. I don't know much about the causes, and I'm sure he'll answer this question as soon as he sees it to tell you more. I just wanted to get back to you right away. He generally is not very concerned because it's either a small amount (like less than a tbsp) or his mucus is just streaked with blood (mucus with a little blood mixed in). If it is a lot of blood, call your doctor. If it continues, call your doctor. If this is the first time your son or daughter has coughed up blood, you may want to call your doctor to just keep them informed and make sure you're taking the proper steps. Also, be sure to encourage your child to cough cough cough after a bleed, otherwise, the blood will stay in the lungs and becomes a breeding ground for infection.

Here is a link to information about hemoptysis (coughing up blood). It's not completely relevant because it's written from the point of view of not knowing that you have a condition before coughing up blood, but it does give more information about what's going on in the lungs:

All in all, don't panic when your son or daughter coughs up blood (if it is not a lot of blood), but you should call your doctor so they can give you any instructions you may need.
Feb 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM
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