Medical Q&As

Coughing up blood - why?

I am just 2 weeks away from giving birth to my third child and have had severe breathing problems in the past couple of months for which my doctor prescribed an inhaler. Just over a week ago I developed bronchitis for which I was prescribed an antibiotic. The infection is now clearing up and my breathing is easier in the last couple of days but what worries me is that the phlegm now contains a thick blood-like substance and this is also coming from my nose when I need to blow it. Can you give me any insight as to what this might be or why it is happening?

I think you need to return to your doctor and bring these new symptoms to his attention. On the balance of probability it is likely that the bloody material you are coughing up and also blowing from your nose is blood streaked mucous. It is also likely that the material you are coughing up has originated in your nose and sinuses and has simply dripped down the back of your nose in a simple process we refer to as post-nasal drip. This can create the impression that you are coughing the material up off your lungs when in fact you are simply clearing your throat of material that originated in the nasal passages. Despite the explanation I have just given I still think that the appropriate next step is to revisit your doctor for another medical examination.