Evaluation and Treatment of Massive Hemoptysis

Surg Clin North Am. 2022 Jun;102(3):465-481. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2021.11.002.


Massive hemoptysis is appropriately defined as life-threatening hemoptysis that causes airway obstruction, respiratory failure, and/or hypotension. Patients with this condition die from asphyxiation, not hemorrhagic shock. Any patient who presents with life-threatening hemoptysis requires immediate treatment to secure the airway and stabilize hemodynamics. Early activation and coordinated response from a multidisciplinary team is critical. Once the airway is secure and appropriate resuscitation is initiated, priorities are to localize the source of the bleeding and gain hemorrhage control. Nonsurgical control of hemorrhage is superior to surgery in the acute situation.

Keywords: Bronchial artery; Bronchoscopy; Embolization; Life-threatening hemoptysis; Massive hemoptysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy / adverse effects
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Hemoptysis* / diagnosis
  • Hemoptysis* / etiology
  • Hemoptysis* / therapy
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans