Haemoptysis is managed according to the amount and rate of bleeding and how sick you are. If your condition is life threatening, you may need urgent treatment before any investigations are done.
To find out the cause of your coughing up blood, your doctor will ask you questions about your cough. These may include the following:
- How much blood are you coughing up?
- How many times have you coughed up blood?
- How long have you been coughing up blood for?
- What other symptoms do you have?
You will probably be asked about your past and current medication and conditions, and whether you smoke.
Your doctor will check you for any signs of diseases that can cause you to cough up blood. They may take your temperature to check for an infection and look up your nose to make sure the bleeding is not from there.
Depending on your condition, you may be asked to have a chest x-ray or CT scan to detect any problems. You may also be asked to have a bronchoscopy, which is a procedure to see the inside of your airways and lungs.
If a blood clot in your lung is suspected, you may need a lung ventilation-perfusion scan, which looks at air flow and blood flow in the lungs.
Other tests that may be done include blood tests and a test to look for infection-causing bacteria in your saliva.