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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 48-52

Flexible bronchoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic: A concise clinical review and practical recommendations


1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mayank Mishra
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 201, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_357_20

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Bronchoscopy is an extremely useful diagnostic and therapeutic procedure that finds an invaluable place in Pulmonology practice. Due to aerosol generation, bronchoscopy carries a high risk of infection transmission to health care workers and other patients. This fact is even more important in the present times of COVID-19 pandemic owing to its droplet- (and possibly aerosol-) mediated spread. With this background, a working group extracted literature through electronic search of PubMed and Google Scholar databases. All relevant documents were comprehensively reviewed and consensus recommendations formulated based on the level of available evidence. Where evidence was insufficient, Usual Practice Points were formulated based on expert opinion. This resultant document attempts to present clinical recommendations for performing flexible bronchoscopy in COVID-19 suspect/confirmed patients. It outlines important general considerations for bronchoscopy in these cases, provides an algorithmic approach to patient selection for bronchoscopy during these extraordinary times, and enlists critical do's and don'ts that should be followed before, during, and after the procedure. To conclude, flexible bronchoscopy must be cautiously performed amid the COVID-19 crisis. Judicious case selection and meticulous contact and airborne precautions are important to minimise infection transmission.


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