September 4, 1972

Tracheal Aspiration and Fiber Optic Bronchoscopy

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1972;221(10):1163. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200230049016

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Renz and his associates (219:619, 1972), and more recently Dr. Tahir (220:725, 1972) certainly deserve congratulations for pointing out the importance of ventilation during bronchoscopy with the fiber optic bronchoscope.As is well known, one of the most common causes of fever soon after surgery is atelectasis. Although prevention of atelectasis by frequent coughing and early walking is important, it is often necessary to use nasotracheal suction to mobilize secretions if atelectasis has already developed or is suspected. This procedure is relatively easy and has often been used.In some situations in which atelectasis was diagnosed, such tracheal aspiration is not effective but rather harmful, and a word of caution is offered.In patients with an established clinical diagnosis of atelectasis, an intra-arterial catheter was placed and connected to a medical mass spectrometer for continuous in vivo reading of blood oxygen pressure (Po2) and carbon