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blood in sputum.....pneumona?
Dec 24, 1999

Dear Dr. Feinberg,

I have had a cough for the last week, and just yesterday i started producing sputum with blood, with a constricting feeling in my throat, and a feeling of heat at the base of my throat (My tcell count is at 270 and viral load at 630, and I am taking zerit, epivir, viracept and septra for 3 months). My doctor said that this is probably bronchitis, however, I have read that blood in sputum is indicative of pneumonia. What is your opinion and what are the chances of my catching pneumonia while using the prophalaxis, septra? Thank you for all your help!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The most common reason for blood in sputum is indeed bronchitis. Blood is also typical of TB, but TB is far less common than bronchitis. Garden-variety bacterial peumonias are less common with Bactrim use, but not complete;y impossible. Your doctor is probably right. If the bloody sputum persists beyond 10 days or so, and you have fever and still feel sick, then a chest X-ray might be in order.

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