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Is blood in mucus a result of using blood thinners for clots?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 2688 Questions
I was just in the hospital for a pulmonary embolism (after a CAT scan of my lungs, several clots were found in each lung). I was treated with heparin intravenously, and started on coumadin. I was released from the hospital last night, understanding that I would inject myself twice daily with lovenox (which I'm doing). The question I have is that before I went into the hospital, I had a dry cough (no sputum)... Since coming home, I am producing mucus, and this last time I coughed, it had a small streak of blood in it. Should I return to the hospital ASAP or is this expected due to the blood thinners? I know they don't dissolve existing blood clots, but I'm wondering if it is a side effect of the blood thinners?
I've since coughed numerous times and have seen no more blood in the sputum.
Posted Thu, 7 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
visit the hospital

Detailed Answer:
I am Dr Mittal
I have read your query
And I will try to explain the condition to you.

First and foremost, please understand that
a. Pulmonary embolism itself can sometimes cause hemoptysis (the act of getting blood in the sputum)
b. The blood thinners themselves can cause hemoptysis. However the injections you are on are not supposed to cause much bleeding (I am unaware of the dose and the body weight of yours from the query.

I would suggest that you visit the hospital once more. To get the tests done regarding the bleeding profile of your. It would need the test of aPTT to know if the heparin is being too much.

c. Sometimes heparin causes lowering of platelets. This may cause the bleeding too. So we will need to test that as well.

Therefore I suggest you visit them at the hospital once. If the tests are normal, you can always return home.

I hope that answers you.
Please feel free to ask a follow up query

Dr Mittal
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