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Doctor insights on: Sputum

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Dr. Layne Gentry
570 doctors shared insights

Sputum (Overview)

Sputum is mucus that comes up from the lungs and can be a symptom of infection.


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What does bloody sputum mean?

What does bloody sputum mean?

Depends...: Blood could get mixed with sputum from a variety of locations. Dry nasal passages could crack and bleed into the pharynx getting mixed with secretions. Blood could come from the mouth, pharynx, trachea or esophagus if there was a lesion or infection. True bloody sputum coughed from the lungs should be evaluated as it could arise from infections or even cancer. Best to see your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Dr. Layne Gentry
570 doctors shared insights

Sputum (Overview)

Sputum is mucus that comes up from the lungs and can be a symptom of infection.


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How long does the sputum culture take?

How long does the sputum culture take?

Hours to weeks: Most bacteria take hours to days to appear in culture. Bugs that cause TB and related infections can take up to 2 months. Some bugs can't be grown in culture at all. Its important to remember that not every bug in a culture is an infection and a negative culture cannot exclude some infections. Cultures are like every other test, with false positive and negatives that your doctor has to interpret. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Whats a sputum culture?

Whats a sputum culture?

See below: Sputum is the mucus that you cough up. A culture means that the specimen (in this case sputum) is plated on a plate with growth medium and incubated to test for any bacteria (or fungi). The purpose is to see if an infection is causing an illness. If bacteria grows, it is identified with various reagents and then tested for antibiotic susceptibility for treatment purposes. ...Read more

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What does it mean to check sputum cs?

What does it mean to check sputum cs?

See below: Sputum is the mucus that you cough up. A culture means that the specimen (in this case sputum) is plated on a plate with growth medium and incubated to test for any bacteria (or fungi). The purpose is to see if an infection is causing an illness. If bacteria grows, it is identified with various reagents and then tested for antibiotic susceptibility for treatment purposes. ...Read more

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Any good tips on getting sputum out?

Any good tips on getting sputum out?

Huff cough: Cough techniques can be very helpful. Look online for huff cough techniques. Also if you have any bronchodilator medication (albuterol) or can get humidified air (like in shower), this can be helpful. ...Read more

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Why does sputum change from white to green in the spitoon?

Why does sputum change from white to green in the spitoon?

Bacteria: Bacteria are responsible for the color change. Overtime and warm/moist conditions, bacterial growth increases tremendously. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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What does it mean bringing up green sputum and cold and achey all the time?

What does it mean bringing up green sputum and cold and achey all the time?

Lung infection: Sounds like you have bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia. You should see your physician if the symptoms last more than 72 hours. Push fluids, get rest, and take robitussin to loosen the mucus. ...Read more

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How is a sputum culture obtained when you are being tested?

You spit it out.: Basically, you hock up a logey and spit it into a sterile cup. If you can't hock up any phlegm, for whatever reason, they go in after it with a thin tube and suck it out. ...Read more

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Any way to reduce the sputum in our body?

Don't smoke: Breakdown of airways such as is seen with environmental pollution or tobacco smokers increases damage and therefore increased production of sputum. Mostly i recommend airway clearance (sinus rinse) and deep breathing with exercise. ...Read more

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What does elevated eosenophils in sputum mean?

What does elevated eosenophils in sputum mean?

Many conditions: Eosinophils are a type of inflammaatory cell. They can be associated with a number of conditions, including allergic disease, asthma, eosinophilic pneumonia, parasitic disease and malignancy. Your physician may order an IgE, sputum culture, and obtain a genetic as well as travel history to determine the cause. Steroids are used to control inflammation. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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