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When water is thicker than blood: recognising a systemic cause of haemoptysis
  1. Eileen Wedge1,
  2. Ed Abrahamson2,
  3. Gareth Tudor-Williams3,
  4. Simon Nadel4,
  5. Jane Deal5
  1. 1 Department of Paediatrics, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2 Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3 Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4 Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Paediatrics, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  5. 5 Paediatric Renal Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eileen Wedge, Department of Paediatrics, Post-graduate Office, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK; eileen.wedge{at}


The case of an 11-year-old child presenting with acute haemoptysis and breathlessness is described. The girl was Malaysian and had recently arrived in the UK. She subsequently deteriorated, developing respiratory failure. The course of the illness is described, with reference to the diagnostic process at each stage. The case demonstrates the importance of having a broad investigatory approach in acute haemoptysis.

  • Paediatric Practice
  • Intensive Care
  • Respiratory
  • Nephrology

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  • Contributors All of the authors were involved in the clinical care of the patient described. The manuscript was initially written by EW, and subsequently edited by all other authors who contributed changes and additions of sentences or paragraphs particularly in the sections corresponding to their respective specialties.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.