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Article
October 26, 1957

ROLE OF BRONCHOSCOPY IN THE PREVENTION OF POSTOPERATIVE ATELECTASIS

JAMA. 1957;165(8):947-949. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980260002007a
Abstract

Bronchoscopy is resorted to frequently in the treatment of postoperative atelectasis, but, with the single exception of intrathoracic surgery, bronchoscopy is rarely used to prevent postoperative pulmonary complications. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the role of bronchoscopy in the prevention of post-operative atelectasis.

The incidence of atelectasis from a number of sources varies between 3 and 50% of all postoperative complications.1 The history, etiology, and general methods of prevention and treatment of postoperative atelectasis have been discussed elsewhere.2

It is generally agreed that adequate tracheal toilet is extremerly important in the prevention of postoperative pulmonary collapse. Most anesthesiologists depend upon catheter suction through an endotracheal catheter or voluntary coughing by the patient to insure a clear airway.

Greene3 has pointed out that the most effective cleansing of the lower respiratory tract is obtained with endotracheal suction when the patient is capable of responding with

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