Since 1897, when Killian of Freiburg reported his method of examining the bronchi by means of long tubes inserted through the mouth or through a tracheotomy wound, it has been extensively used. This procedure is largely confined to the location and removal of foreign bodies, but it has frequently been of value in localizing compression of the trachea from goiter and mediastinal tumors.
Up to August, 1904, there had been thirty-two successful removals of foreign bodies reported and there have been many more since that time. Under expectant treatment, these cases present a mortality variously given at from 56 to 80 per cent. Treated by tracheotomy, this rate is lowered to about 30 per cent. since a much better opportunity is furnished for spontaneous expulsion. These figures are more or less fallacious, as many of the fatal cases are probably not reported and some others considered cured probably die later
GERMAIN HH. FOREIGN BODY IN THE BRONCHUS.. JAMA. 1905;XLV(2):102–103. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510020024002e
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