Overview

Coughing up blood (blood in phlegm)
Coughing up blood (blood in phlegm)

Coughing up blood can have lots of possible causes. It could be something serious so it's important to get it checked.

The medical term for coughing up blood is haemoptysis.

Causes of coughing up blood

Common causes of coughing up blood include:

Sometimes coughing up blood can be a sign of something more serious like a blood clot or lung cancer.

It's important to get it checked out as soon as possible.

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 Wales if:

  • you've coughed up a few small spots, flecks or streaks of blood, or noticed blood in your phlegm or handkerchief

Call 999 or go to A&E immediately if:

  • you're coughing up more than just a few spots or streaks of blood
  • you're coughing up blood and finding it hard to breathe, have a very fast heartbeat or have pain in your chest or upper back

These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious problem like a blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)

Find your nearest A&E



The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 26/10/2022 14:48:38