Have you ever had the experience of spitting out blood? Then you may have a condition called Hemoptysis. If you want to learn more about the condition, you came to the right article. We will try to give you everything that we can in terms of information about the condition and how you can treat it properly without experiencing any complications in the future. However, let us first define the condition as follows.
Definition of Terms
Hemoptysis as mentioned earlier refers to a condition wherein the patient experiencing this disease would spit out blood. In addition, he or she can also have a blood stained sputum. (not necessarily blood) according to some experts, it may come from a variety of sources such as:
Major Causes Of Hemoptysis
Further research has found that there are many different causes for the condition. Some of these causes may include the following.
- Respiratory infection
- Lung cancer
- Other conditions related to the lungs or any other part of the respiratory system
Aside from these, it may also have something to do with cardiovascular pathologies. This is a why at the onset of the spitting blood, it is extremely important for you to go to your doctor right away so that you would be able to find out exactly what condition you may have for earlier treatment as much as possible.
In order to figure out the specific cause of the condition, a differential diagnosis should be conducted. Through these, the doctors will be able to rule out any other possible causes that can lead to Hemoptysis. This is because it can serve as a symptom for the following conditions.
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Pneumonic Plague
Sometimes, it can also be caused by hereditary conditions such as:
- Goodpasture’s Syndrome
- Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia
- Rendu-osler Weber Syndrome
- Wegener’s Granulomatosis
Conducting a differential diagnosis will allow the doctors to specifically pinpoint the symptoms that can be related to either of these diseases and therefore be able to find a cure for the direct cause so that Hemoptysis can be stopped.
Causes in Children
In the case of children, it can be caused by having a foreign body within the respiratory tract. Aside from this, it can also be caused by excessive anticoagulation from various drug treatments. If a bloody sputum is present in children, it would be advisable for you to go to your pediatrician right away so that the child can be diagnosed properly and treated along the way.
Doctors can also mistake bloody mucus coming from the nose or sinuses as hemoptysis. However, this should not be taken lightly. It may mean that you have symptoms of nasal or sinus cancer. It can also be attributed to sinus infections. Other causes may include non-respiratory injury as well as cardiac problems like mitral stenosis or congestive heart failure.
Other Related Factors
The doctors have a way of identifying the direct source of the blood in the sputum. Depending on the location of the blood, the blood in the sputum may differ in color. Below is a list of possible locations for the blood depending on the color.
- Bright red and foamy blood may come from the respiratory tract.
- Dark red or coffee colored blood comes from the digestive tract.
- In other cases, the blood may be rusty in color.
So if you ever experience bloody sputum, it will help you to remember the specific coloring of your sputum so that you could tell the doctor right away. This in turn will help the doctor diagnose your condition more accurately because of this.
As a doctor, he or she will have to follow several steps in order to diagnose Hemoptysis properly. Here are some of the following steps that doctors usually undergo for them to be able to find out the specific cause and therefore set out to make the most effective treatment plan for the condition.
First, they will have to be interviewed about your past medical history. They’ll ask you questions about your recent illnesses as it relates to your bloody sputum. In addition, they will also ask if you have a history of vices such as smoking or other occupational diseases because of being exposed to dust due to your workplace.
In addition, they will also ask you about the quality of blood that you spit out. They will ask you questions about the specific amount of blood that you spit out, the color, condition (is it fresh blood? Is it gelatinous?), and any other accompanying symptoms that you may have.
Aside from these, it may also undergo some additional physical examinations through imaging apparatuses. Here are some of the major tests that you have to undergo.
- CT Scans
- 3D Reconstruction
- Bronchial Angiography
The patient will also have to undergo blood tests of the white blood cells as well as other laboratory tests such as bronchial fiber endoscopy.
Treatment Methods of Hemoptysis
The specific form of treatment will depend upon the root cause of the condition. There are many possible treatment methods that can be used for this condition. Some of these procedures are as follows:
- Selective Bronchial Intubation in case of hemorrhaging
- Endobronchial tamponade
- Iced saline
- Embolism of the bleeding sections
- Application of topical vasoconstrictors
- Laser photocoagulation to stop the bleeding that might occur
Aside from these, surgery can also be performed as a last resort. The affected organs can be removed pneumonectomy for the lungs or lobectomy. In addition, there are some specific medications that can be used for non-small cell lung cancer.
The key to finding a cure for Hemoptysis is basically obtaining the right diagnosis that the doctors would be able to do this; the medical experts would be able to tap the right treatment plan for the condition. This is why it is important for you to take note of every sign and symptoms that you would see as it relates to bloody sputum so let you would be able to relate it to the doctor much more clearly and effectively.