Is blood in sputum a serious problem?
Q: My four and a half year old son had 2-3 drops of blood in his sputum a few days back for the first time. We consulted the doctor who recommended some tests. The reports were as follows: Chest X-ray: Cardiac Shadow appears globular. Packed Cell Volume, MCV, MCH and westergren were not lying in their normal limits and Eosinophils count was high. Blood: Anisocytosis, microcytic hypochromic RBC +++ and eosinophilia. Do these test reports suggest something serious?
A:Haemoptysis (coughing up blood) is an unusual symptom in childhood. It is not easy to decide whether blood has been brought up from chest or from the stomach (e.g, after a nose bleed). It is rare for pneumonia or tuberculosis to cause haemoptysis in children, but streaking of the sputum with blood is common in children with suppurating lung diseases. Diseases of blood affecting clotting (coagulation) may produce haemoptysis. The tests done so far do not show evidence for a primary lung disease. The blood tests show anaemia and eosinophilia, but they are not responsible for the blood stained sputum. Further tests are necessary if there is a recurrence of bleeding.