1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Coughing up blood

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alesia, May 30, 2013.

    I've been trying to research this, but I've been coming up dry and I want to write this without it being tacky or unrealistic.

    Background: Main character is waking up from unconsciousness. They took a pretty good whack to the head and I already have all the blackness, spinning, nausea, brain fog worked out. during the time they were KO, one of their assailants kicked them in the ribs several times basically just to be a jerk.

    That being said, is it plausible to regain consciousness and immediately start coughing blood? I've heard that might be a little too much injury though (punctured lung?). Keep in mind where the MC is being held, there's hostiles nearby and NO medical attention to be had. Can you cough up blood in that situation without having something as severe as a punctured lung or something else you would need to seek immediate medical attention for otherwise death would be certain?
     
  2. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Reasons for coughing up blood after fight could be as follows: Swallowing blood whilst KO'd, either from a bitten tongue or other mouth injury; Internal bleeding of the stomach... That's all I've got.
     
  3. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    You won't have an issue doing this. You can cough up blood without dire need for medical attention. This could be a wound from many source points like the nose, mouth, throat, stomach or chest areas. Look at it like this, if you wanted to make yourself sick and put your fingers into your throat to do it and cut your throat with a fingernail you wouldn't need rushing to hospital, as it would be a small cut and would clot and heal. On a similar level someone being kicked while on the ground may find blood when they urinate as well, but not be in danger of dying – though of course they could be. :)

    You wouldn’t want to write that they are coughing up lots of blood, or dark blood either, but nothing wrong with them coughing up some blood without being in need of emergency medical care.
     
  4. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Is "coughing up" the word I'd want to use here? Or would something else be more favorable like "spitting up" or "coughed a few times, spitting out blood"?
     
  5. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I've coughed up blood before just from having a horrible chest cold. It wasn't much and I was just fine without medical attention. While I don't know much on the subject there are clearly cases where it's not as big of a deal as it seems. Maybe do a symptom check on a site like webmd? They would have a list of potential causes for an ailment and that would definitely give you more info!
     
  6. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I tried that, why I asked. They all say the same thing "coughing up blood can be serious go to the hospital."
     
  7. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    I think it'd be safer going with "spitting out" blood, presuming he's cut a lip or his nose has been bleeding. Coughing it up seems to suggest that the source is internal. Then again, I'm medically ignorant.
     
  8. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I double checked and webmd says you can also cough up blood if you have a severe nosebleed as the blood can drain into the airway.
     
  9. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    Coughing up blood is fine term if they are doing that, and spitting blood is really them just spitting out whatever is their mouth.

    What do you expect when you lookk on a website? Coughing up blood is fine, put your feet up and watch TV? That would just open them up to a lawsuit I'm sure with any advise other than seek medical help. I'm not saying that's wrong advice at all, but just saying that while coughing up blood could be a sign of serious problem it doesn't have to be.

    In short if you want your character to cough up blood and be sore in ribs or other areas its fine. Heck, even make him worry he has serious internal injury and add some drama to your story, it beats he spat out some blood and moves on. You won't have doctors phoning you up saying your story is rubbish and that he would have died. :)
     
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