8 Potential Reasons For Blood In Mucus During Cough

A man is coughing

Blood in mucus during cough can be alarmed whether it is a large or small amount, so don’t take it lightly, consult your doctor quickly.

Cough is the most common medical issue and about 30 million people have clinical visits per year.

A cough is natural and acts as part of the body’s immune system to protect against foreign materials getting inside our lungs.

Coughing up blood is often a symptom of a disease called hemoptysis which is a serious medical condition.

There are many things that can cause blood cough including – infection, diseases (lung cancer, tuberculosis, COPD, etc)

So this topic will tell you about – a cough in the blood which can even happen due to a throat infection or cuts.

Mild respiratory infections

Acute cough in adults is an acute viral upper respiratory infection also known as the common cold, and acute bronchitis.

Upper respiratory infections (URI) include – the common cold, pharyngitis, epiglottitis, and laryngotracheitis (1)

An acute viral respiratory tract infection can cause of triggering the cough which even in leads to blood in the cough (2)

A man is coughing
Blood in mucus during cough Can Be an Alarmed Sign That Your Respiratory System Area Are In Danger

Tuberculosis (Tb)

It is also known as a silent serial killer and an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacterium.

Tuberculosis is the top infectious killer in the world also known as the Silent Serial Killer in short (SSK).

Patients with cough with or without fever, night sweats, blood in cough, and weight loss, are at high risk of pulmonary Tb.

When the TB bacteria multiply by entering the lung, it starts damaging the lung tissues, causing blood stains in cough, and inflammation in the airway.

Blood in cough, fever, weight loss, night sweat, and loss of appetite are some of the common signs and symptoms of TB.


Inflammation in our lung’s air sacs is called Alveoli, and this inflammation leads to making fluid in our alveoli, so this condition is called pneumonia.

Pneumonia is also a respiratory lung infection that is the most common cause of mild bouts of coughing up blood (3)

Apart from blood in mucus during cough, and also other common symptoms that can be mild to severe are included:

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • fatigue
  • sough may produce phlegm
  • sweating, and chills
  • cough can last for 2 weeks
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • weight loss due to night sweating

Older people’s symptoms are:

Symptoms in under 5 years children are:

  • Fast breathing
  • cough
  • fever which is common in all age
  • cry more than normal

One study found that Tuberculosis is a common cause of pneumonia under unusual extreme conditions.


People with asthma may see blood in the cough during or after the asthma period.

Even several studies have shown that asthma is the second leading cause of blood in mucus during cough about 10% of cases.

Asthma is a condition where your lung’s airways become narrow and swell, which may produce extra mucus (4)

This mucus makes a person difficulty in breathing and leads to wheezing sounds, coughing, chest pain due to frequent coughs, etc.

No specific treatment can cure asthma, however, a wide range of treatments can ease the symptoms.

Also, allergic people are more at risk of asthma, so consult your doctor for allergy treatment and a healthy lifestyle may help in it.

Long-lasting or severe cough

Chronic cough and severe can also damage your lungs, and throat blood vessels can cause blood in mucus during cough.

A long-lasting dry cough continuously for 2 weeks also becomes a reason for TB (blood in the cough is a common sign of it)

Chronic cough can also occur due to several reasons including:

  • Allergy
  • smoking
  • medications
  • COPD (chronic bronchitis pulmonary disease)
  • acid reflux
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • asthma
  • tobacco use
  • postnasal drip
  • bacterial infection like pneumonia

Lung cancer

Cough-up blood is a very serious matter and it needs to be investigated, so consult your healthcare immediately.

Lung cancer is 2nd most common cancer worldwide and 4th most common in “India“, and it is a major healthcare problem in India.

It is a dangerous sign, but it does not mean it is cancer, only about 20 to 25% could be cancer (5).

Blood in cough is also a symptom of metastatic lung cancer (cancer that has spread to the lungs from another area of the body)

If it is lung cancer further evaluation of the disease or the condition will give you the diagnosis.

Early signs that may be an indication of lung cancer include:

  • Yellow skin and eye (which also may be a sign of jaundice)
  • headache
  • swelling in the armpits, neck, and around the collarbone (5)
  • abdominal pain on the right side
  • Cough with blood, that won’t quit and wheezing
  • loss of appetite
  • breathing difficulties, which increase the risk of pneumonia
  • unexplained weight loss
  • body pain whether it is bone, muscle pain

People who smoke are at greater risk of lung cancer, however, it also occurs in people who have never smoked, and others include:

  • People who worked around the radioactive gas or soil around the foundation, building materials, fuels, and domestic water.
  • air pollution
  • genes
  • radiation like x-ray, chemotherapy, etc

Check – Lung Infection: What Causes, Types, Signs, Prevention, And More


Bronchitis, especially chronic or bronchiectasis is the major cause or common cause of coughing up blood and the least serious.

In this condition, strong or recurring inflammation of the airways typically causes cough and the production of sputum.

The cough is often worse soon after awakening, and the mucus produced may have a yellow or green color and may have blood stains.

Bronchitis is also known as a chest cold, where a cough can last around three weeks (6) other symptoms include:

  • Coughing up sputum
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • fever
  • wheezing

 Symptoms include coughing up sputumwheezingshortness of breath, and chest pain


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is lungs diseases, that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

It is sometimes also called emphysema or chronic bronchitis, and it is 3rd leading cause of death worldwide causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019.

COPD and lung cancer both can be other possible causes of coughing up blood (6)

Patients with COPD revealed that has a cough and excessive mucus/phlegm production, which affect patients’ life negatively (7)

Certain health conditions that may contribute to cough with COPD include gastroesophageal reflux disease and bronchiectasis.

Both can lead to inflammation of the lung’s airways that cause increased mucus production and can also cause bleeding.

Other surprising reasons

There are other several reasons for Blood In Mucus During Cough including:

  • Injury to the arteries in the lung (8)
  • cystic fibrosis (it is a lung disorder that is caused by a gene defective can be passed from generation to generation)
  • heart failure
  • Blood clot in the lungs (a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs known as pulmonary embolism)

However, severe nose bleeding from the mouth or throat can cause blood to come out in your saliva when you cough.

Nose bleeding is not a serious issue, that sometimes can happen due to body heat, but frequent or heavy bleeding can be serious.

Down Line

Blood in mucus during a cough or in salvia is not a light issue, whether it is a small or large amount, may indication of lung disease.

There are many causes of blood in mucus during cough include – lung infection or diseases like pneumonia, cancer, TB, etc

If blood comes into the mouth, immediately consult your doctor, an early diagnosis may prevent further risk.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *