Bronchoscopy during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: A bronchoscopist's perspective
Bronchoscopy is a safe and commonly performed procedure for diagnostic as well as therapeutic indications. Bronchoscopy is also an aerosol-generating procedure, and due to the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission during the procedure, routine bronchoscopy has been discouraged by multiple professional societies, despite any solid evidence. There are only a few reports of bronchoscopy in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in the literature. Bronchoscopy in this patient population plays a crucial role not only in the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 but also in the identification of secondary bacterial or fungal infections and in directing appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Bronchoscopy with therapeutic interventions may be lifesaving. Based on the literature, the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 transmission appears to be low among bronchoscopists and other healthcare workers when appropriate personal protective equipment is used. Bronchoscopy in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 should be strongly considered when clinically indicated.