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Hemoptysis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hemoptysis is coughing up blood. This occurs when blood vessels in your airway or lungs weaken or break, and begin to bleed. You may bleed in small or large amounts that appear in your sputum (spit).

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have new or worsening chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Your bleeding gets worse or you cough up a large amount of blood.
  • You cannot stop vomiting.
  • You are so dizzy that you think you may fall or faint.
  • You have pain or swelling in your legs.
  • Your legs and arms feel cold or look pale.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have new or increasing shortness of breath.
  • You have a fever.
  • You lose weight without trying.
  • You feel more weak and tired than usual.
  • You have a cough that does not improve or gets worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics may be given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Antitussives help control or stop your cough.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider in 2 days or as directed:

You may need frequent visits to monitor your condition and prevent further blood loss. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Use caution with medicines:

Certain medicines, such as NSAIDs, increase your risk for bleeding. Herbal supplements also increase your risk. Examples of herbal supplements are garlic, gingko, and ginseng. Ask your healthcare provider before you take any over-the-counter medicines.

Do not smoke, and do not go to smoky areas:

Smoke may worsen your hemoptysis. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can also cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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