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Blood in Mucus after Dives

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Scuba446

Senior Member

Hi,
Don’t mean to be gross, but after our last 2 dives, my dive partner conplained of bloody mucus from his sinuses after the dive. It cleared up about 10 mins after the dive was over.

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Any idea why this is happening to him? He denies any sinus problems or allergy problems or recent colds or infections.

I thought perhaps it was due to ear equalization? Perhaps he is equalizing too hard?

“We are drowning in information – yet we are starving for wisdom”
-Anthony Robbins – Motivational Speaker

The Iceni

Medical Moderator

Scuba446 once bubbled.
I thought perhaps it was due to ear equalization? Perhaps he is equalizing too hard?

This is almost certainly sinus barotrauma, which is a very common problem and has nothing whatsoever to do with ear clearing.

These problems were discussed on the following threads.

You may also find a lot more information if you do a search on sinus barotrauma.

Scuba446

Senior Member

OK,
Read the threads on this topic from before. now I’m REALLY confused! One of the threads was two divers needling each other to death – didn’t enlighten me much, I am afraid.

First of all, whats REALLY happening when someone gets a sinus barotrauma?

Second, are you implying that EVERY time this happens to a diver, they should:

1) Go to an ENT doctor for an exam?

2) Not dive again that day?

3) Quit diving all together?

This may sound ignorant, but just HOW serious can it really be? If it stops bleeding after the dive, just how serious can it be anyways?

Now, my origional question dealt with my friend NOT having had a cold, NOT have had ANY problems equalizing his ears, etc. So WHAT caused this to happen? WHY does this happen? Whats gone wrong in the sinuses? Can this be prevented? Would Sudafed prior to diving assist in PREVENTING it from happening?And does this happening cause any REAL damage?

I don’t think he’s going to want to give up diving because this happens – he loves diving, although it does seem to happen to him 3 out of 4 times he goes diving.

Why him perhaps and not I?

“We are drowning in information – yet we are starving for wisdom”
-Anthony Robbins – Motivational Speaker

The Iceni

Medical Moderator

Scuba446 once bubbled.
. . First of all, whats REALLY happening when someone gets a sinus barotrauma?

Because the sinus is isolated from ambient pressure (by a blockage of the connection with the nose) the pressure WITHIN will become less than ambient pressure on descent, therefore the membrane linings become engorged by the increased blood to them supplied at AMBIENT pressure, are damaged and bleed. See my original post (quoted below) and the diagram.

Second, are you implying that EVERY time this happens to a diver, they should:

1) Go to an ENT doctor for an exam?

This may sound ignorant, but just HOW serious can it really be? If it stops bleeding after the dive, just how serious can it be anyways?

It is not SERIOUS but if it becomes an established problem it will prevent diving due to pain and he could develop chronic sinus problems that cannot be treated and which may become very problematic in later life.

Now, my origional question dealt with my friend NOT having had a cold, NOT have had ANY problems equalizing his ears, etc. So WHAT caused this to happen? WHY does this happen? Whats gone wrong in the sinuses? Can this be prevented? Would Sudafed prior to diving assist in PREVENTING it from happening?

I don’t think he’s going to want to give up diving because this happens – he loves diving, although it does seem to happen to him 3 out of 4 times he goes diving.

Why him perhaps and not I?

I hope my one-word replies are sufficient.

By Dr Paul Thomas
. . . With a little bit of imagination you can see how a deviated septum, or a damaged turbinate, could block the opening into the frontal sinus sealing it off from ambient pressure. When this opening is blocked air cannot enter the affected sinus which remains at a lower than ambient pressure during further descent. The result is damage to the mucosal lining from the blood supplied to it, from the heart through the arterioles, the pressure of which is increased by the higher ambient pressure over and above that within the sinus itself.

The result? The blood vessels rupture damaging the mucosal lining and they bleed into the sinus. On ascent some of this blood is forced out in to the nose by the relative increase in pressure caused by the ascent but some must remain behind as debris, making sinus equalisation even more unlikely on subsequent dives.

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Why Am I Coughing Up Bloody Mucus?

Coughing up blood or hemoptysis refers to the spitting of blood

Coughing up blood may be caused by certain benign conditions such as a throat infection or very severe conditions such as lung cancer.

Coughing up blood or hemoptysis refers to the spitting of blood or blood-stained mucus from the throat and lungs (the respiratory tract). Coughed-up blood often looks bubbly and is mixed with mucus. It may be red or rust-colored in appearance. It is often small in amounts, unlike vomiting blood where a large amount of blood is expelled or vomited from the mouth.

Coughing up blood may be caused by certain benign conditions such as a throat infection or very severe conditions such as lung cancer. Due to the possibility of serious underlying conditions, coughing up blood should not be ignored.

Some of the causes of coughing up blood are as follows:

    (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Aspiration (accidental entry of food or other material into the lungs)
  • Violent or excessive coughing
  • Lung infections such as pneumonia with biopsy (a condition that causes enlargement of the arteries in the lungs) (inflammation of the inner lining of the bronchi present in the lungs) (inflammation of the blood vessels in the lungs)
  • Injury to the arteries of the lungs (a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
  • Certain medications

Is a little blood in phlegm normal?

Color of Mucus or Phlegm

You may get little streaks of blood in phlegm due to reasons such as excessive coughing. Blood in phlegm, however, may be due to serious conditions such as lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, and heart failure.

You must seek medical care for blood in cough/phlegm if:

  • The coughing up of small amounts of blood lasts more than a week.
  • You are coughing up more than a few teaspoons of blood.
  • There is a presence of blood in the urine or stools.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You experience chest pain.
  • You feel light-headed or dizzy.
  • There is a presence of fever.
  • You have rapid or excessive unintended weight loss.

QUESTION

What causes coughing up blood?

Coughing up blood or hemoptysis can have many underlying causes. Reasons range from mild irritation of the throat to severe lung cancer.

You can cough up blood when there is an issue with the respiratory tract (hemoptysis). Some of the common causes of hemoptysis include:

    due to smoking, constant throat irritation, and fibers such as dander and cotton (damaged airways), due to cystic fibrosis , either short term (acute) or long term (chronic)
  • Lung cancer

Other rare causes of hemoptysis include:

  • Congestive heart failure because of mitral stenosis
  • A crack or cocaine use
  • Foreign objects lodged in the airways
  • Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as:
  • Microscopic polyangiitis (a condition that can damage the blood vessels)
  • Churg–Strauss syndrome (a disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation)
  • Goodpasture disease (a life-threatening autoimmune disorder that attacks tissues in the lungs and kidneys) (rare disorder leading to blood vessel inflammation throughout the body)

In some cases, while doctors may not diagnose the exact cause of hemoptysis, the condition may go away within 6 months.

Other conditions that can cause coughing up blood include:

  • Pseudohemoptysis: Refers to a condition where the blood comes from the upper digestive tract. Diagnosis is the only way to differentiate between hemoptysis and pseudohemoptysis.
  • Hematemesis: Refers to vomiting ground coffee-like material mixed with a bit of food.

Health News

How can doctors determine why I am coughing up blood?

Coughing up blood may be caused by various conditions that may range from mild to serious. To know the exact cause of coughing up blood, you need to consult a doctor. Your doctor may ask details about coughing up blood such as since when you are having it, how much blood you cough up, and whether you have other complaints such as breathlessness, fever, and chest pain. They may also ask about your history of taking any medications or smoking.

To diagnose the cause of coughing up blood, your doctor may ask the following tests to be done:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest (MRI)
  • Sputum examinations such as microscopy or culture to look for infections
  • Lung scan
  • Lung biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy (a procedure in which a flexible tube is inserted through the nose or mouth to examine the lungs and airways)
  • Blood counts
  • Blood clotting test
  • Pulmonary arteriography/angiography (a procedure to see the blood flow through the lungs)
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SLIDESHOW

Should I go to the ER for coughing up blood?

coughing up blood

If you cough more than a few teaspoons of blood or if you’ve been coughing blood for more than a week, then you should go to the ER immediately.

If you notice more than a few teaspoons of blood while coughing or you have been coughing blood for more than a week, you should immediately go to the ER. Also, if you notice these symptoms, you should call the ER right away:

  • Chest pain or stools or light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Rapid or severe weight loss

Coughing up blood could be a sign of a serious medical condition. If left untreated, the underlying causes may aggravate and lead to other complications.

What are the different stages of hemoptysis?

Hemoptysis is divided into different types based on the blood amount coughed up over 24 hours.

The three main types of hemoptysis include:

  • Scant or mild hemoptysis: Coughing up less than 20 mL or less than a tablespoon indicates mild hemoptysis.
  • Non–life-threatening or nonmassive hemoptysis: Also known as moderate or submassive hemoptysis, this condition refers to when there is coughing up of blood between 20 and 200 mL (about a cup) of blood.
  • Life-threatening or massive hemoptysis: Refers to a condition where you cough up about 100 mL to over 600 mL, or about a pint of blood.

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Source https://www.medhelp.org/posts/Undiagnosed-Symptoms/blood-in-mucus-after-scuba-diving/show/631892#:~:text=Bleeding%20from%20nose%20or%20bllod%20in%20mucus%20is,come%20from%20the%20lining%20in%20either%20of%20them.

Source https://scubaboard.com/community/threads/blood-in-mucus-after-dives.14735/

Source https://www.medicinenet.com/why_am_i_coughing_up_bloody_mucus/article.htm

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