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Question
Posted by: Concerned Wife | 2005/12/12

Dirty Phlegm?

Hi Doc, i am very concerned about my husband. He has had a cough now for +- 3 weeks, it does seem to get better when he takes medication though. What i am very concerned about is that the phlegm that he spits out when he coughs has big black spots in it. What could this be? Is it just dirt coming out of his lungs or is it something more serious? This used to happen before he got the cold that causes his cough but then he only used to spit out black phlegm in the morning. Now it happens all the time. Please tell me if this is something that we should be worried about.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Concerned wife,
Does he work in an area that produces a lot of smoke or gasses from cars, or is he smoking? It sounds like he is coughing up soot. It could however also be dry blood which will make it more serious - please take him to your GP for possible x/rays. Ask him to cough onto a white hankerchief and take it with to the dr to show him. (We don't mind looking at gooy stuff if it will help us make a proper diagnosis!)

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