Massive hemoptysis

T W Noseworthy, B J Anderson
Canadian Medical Association Journal: CMAJ 1986 November 15, 135 (10): 1097-9
Hemoptysis is usually a symptom of cardiopulmonary disease and is generally not in itself associated with death. A blood loss into the tracheobronchial tree of 600 ml in 24 hours or at a rate that poses a threat to life is referred to as massive hemoptysis. Hypervascularity within the bronchial circulation, usually associated with diffuse inflammatory disease of the lung, is common in patients with massive hemoptysis. Management should be directed at maintenance of oxygenation and localization of the source of bleeding. Temporizing maneuvers such as iced saline lavage, intravenous administration of vasopressin, endobronchial tamponade and bronchial artery embolization will often stabilize the patient in preparation for definitive surgery. Such a sequential plan of management may result in a 50% reduction in the rate of death from massive hemoptysis, which is otherwise 50% to 100%.


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