Rigid bronchoscopy under general anesthesia enables performing diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures in the tracheobronchial tree. As most patients undergoing rigid bronchoscopy have moderate to severe respiratory disease or central airway obstruction, the operators often face the risk of hypoxemia when inserting the rigid bronchoscope into the patients' airway. Applying high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy before the insertion of the bronchoscope allows to maintain high fractional inspired oxygen (FiO2) and thus leading to maximizing apnea time before desaturation.
Case 1: A 70-year-old female patient was diagnosed with lung cancer in the left lower lobe and a tracheal mass of about 2.6 cm * 0.8 cm in size.Case 2: A male patient, 77 years old, 55.7 kg and 157.3 cm in height, had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and was scheduled for the bronchoscopic volume reduction surgery upon exacerbation of his symptoms of dyspnea and cough with sputum.
Preoxygenation was performed with HFNC (Fisher&Paykel Optiflow Thrive, New Zealand) for 3 minutes before the administration of anesthetic medications. The oxygen flow was set at 50 L/min and the FiO2 at 1.0. SpO2 increased to 100%.
The HFNC oxygen has shown its effectiveness in safely maintaining the patients' SpO2 during the prolonged apneic period of inserting bronchoscope.
HFNC oxygen is an effective tool in oxygenating the patients during the induction of rigid bronchoscopy, and that it may be a superior alternative to the conventional method of preoxygenation.