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What does blood in the vomit with a severe cough and cold indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Diptanshu Das


Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3729 Questions

Posted on Tue, 30 Oct 2018 in Child Health
Question: My son is seven months old and is usually an active little chatter box. Monday he started to have a cough but no fever. By Tuesday, it was a nasty, deep cough and he was struggling to cough up mucus. I took him to urgent care where I was told he had allergies and to suction his nose frequently. Wednesday, he was lethargic, slept all day and was quiet- totally out of character. His cough had worsened and no suctioning was helping. Around 7 he had his bottle before bed, at 7:15, he projectile vomited from nose and mouth, stiffened up, turned purple and his eyes rolled back. I rushed him to the ER where again, I was told it was allergies. They didn't run a single test on him, just told me it sounded like he choked on mucus and that I needed to suction more, to give him Pedialyte instead of formula for a few days and let him rest. This morning he had dried vomit with what looked like blood in it on his PJ's. I'm worried sick and no doctor is taking me seriously. What could this be?

I should also mention that at no point in this has he spiked a fever. He has been very lethargic, quiet and not interested in feeding. If he does feed, he vomits almost immediately after. He also vomits at random. Every time he vomits it is massive amounts of vomit and he almost always chokes on it. His cough and mucusy breathing are both still present. I just have a hard time believing that all of this is being caused by excess mucus. Is there any reason why no doctor would run any tests on him at all?
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Blood tests need to be done

Detailed Answer:


I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. The lethargy concerns me and it could be a sign of a bacterial infection.

You need to get the blood counts and CRP level checked. An elevated blood count and/or CRP would indicate a bacterial infection and would call for treatment with antibiotics.

Steam inhalation would help in relieving the cough. It will take a few days. It will also help to give him some antiallergic like cetirizine.

Give paracetamol and tepid sponging if there is fever greater than 100°F.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Diptanshu Das, Pediatrician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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