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[EXPLAINER] When a bronchoscopy is appropriate to treat Covid-19

18 January 2021 11:22 AM
Tags:
COVID-19
covid-19 treatment
pulmonologist
bronchoscopies

Professor Keertan Dheda debunks myths spread about the procedure which is an appropriate treatment for only a small number of patients.

The SA Thoracic Society (Sats), says has expressed concern that an interview on Carte Blanche with pulmonologist Dr Emannuel Taban, could spark the use of an inappropriate and potentially unsafe "routine" therapeutic bronchoscopy for patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia.

Sats states that after the interview was shared extensively on social media, it has lead to some conspiracy theories accusing the government of hiding the treatment from the public.

Sats president, Professor Coenie Koegelenberg has noted, that barring further evidence, therapeutic bronchoscopy should be avoided as part of the routine management of COVID 19.

Kieno Kammies talks to UCT Head of the Division of Pulmonology Professor Keertan Dheda, to explain and share his opinion.

He says the keyword regarding the procedure is 'routine'.

To put things in context, he says Dr Taban did a case study involving a small number of patients.

It was in a handful of patients that he found these mucous plugs plugging the airways.

Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Pulmonology - UCT

The bronchoscopy procedure is inserting a camera tube down the windpipe and they are sucked out.

This is not something new. We have been doing it for many years even in pneumonia cases where plugs block up the airways resulting in the collapse of the lobe.

Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Pulmonology - UCT

Covid-19 is a process that involves damage and filling up the air sacs so that one cannot get oxygen into the blood, he notes.

So if on top of that you got these mucous plugs blocking up the airways it would be a double whammy.

Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Pulmonology - UCT

Dr Taban's paper says in selective patients a bronchoscopy may be useful in the context of Covid pneumonia, says Dheda.

There has been a lot of stuff out there and conspiracy theories that this is something the government is not telling you and it is a panacea, but it is only useful for a small number of patients.

Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Pulmonology - UCT

The procedure is therefore only useful in a specific context with a very small number of Covid-19 patients, he emphasises.

Listen to the explanation by Prof Dheda below:




18 January 2021 11:22 AM
Tags:
COVID-19
covid-19 treatment
pulmonologist
bronchoscopies

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