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December 1965

Gustav Killian

Author Affiliations

HNO Clinic Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(6):656-659. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010658020

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Father of Bronchoscopy

IT IS always useful to remember the initial steps of a development. It is difficult in medicine to discover something really new and to take a risk doing it. To work further into the newly gained territory is of great merit but very much easier. In pursuing this further development an appreciation of the difficulties of the first step is often lost.

Gustav Killian was the first who succeeded in extracting a foreign body from the right main bronchus by the translaryngeal route. This was on March 30, 1897. His accomplishment was at that time held to be a worldwide sensation. But his success was not mere chance; not only intuition and courage were necessary to do it but also a purposeful scientific and practical preparation. Up to that time no one had dared to introduce a tube into the trachea, which was considered vulnerable, and

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