Bronchoscopy in high-risk needs different approach

Clinicians carrying out bronchoscopy in high-risk patients under ‘conscious sedation’ may need to adapt their approach, a series of patient accounts reveals.

Post-procedure interviews with 13 people with COPD who had undergone day-case bronchoscopy under low-dose sedation revealed that half were aware of what was happening during their procedure and in most cases they described their experiences as negative.

One patient called ‘Bob’ overheard the theatre staff saying they were unable to perform a biopsy, a procedure he thought was fundamental to getting a diagnosis.

“I can remember like them saying…., can’t go there,…no, can’t see it there… I could almost tell where they were poking the ‘scope from the way they were talking… but I couldn’t feel anything…now I know they haven’t done a biopsy… I can’t see how they’re going to tell anything.”

The research team led by Catherine Saxon from The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane advised healthcare teams to provide patient-focused explanations of what was happening during the procedure as well as providing ongoing reassurance that everything was going as planned

“Talking about the patient should be abandoned in favour of talking to the patient,” they concluded.

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