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In this retrospective study, the authors assessed patient and healthcare worker safety data for intermittent apneic bronchoscopy in COVID-19–positive patients. The authors describe the procedure, staff, and equipment. Patient and healthcare worker safety outcomes evaluated included transmission of virus. Bronchoscopy with intermittent apnea in COVID-19–positive patients was found to be safe for both patients and providers, with a 35% diagnostic yield in those with previously negative tracheal aspirates.
These findings can serve as a guide for clinicians who need to perform bronchoscopy on patients with COVID-19.
– Morgan Soffler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can progress to severe respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation, with a grim prognosis in this subset of patients[1-4]. Despite the perceived increased risk from aerosol-generating procedures, data from prior severe acute respiratory syndrome suggests no increased transmission from bronchoscopy . There is a paucity of data regarding the actual risk and benefit of bronchoscopy for patients with COVID-19, leading to uncertainty regarding recommendations.
The hypothesis of this report is that bronchoscopy with intermittent apnea is safe for both patients and healthcare providers. This study reports our experience with therapeutic bronchoscopy in patients with severe COVID-19.