Safety of Bronchoscopy in Elderly

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Flexible bronchoscopy is a well-tolerated procedure with low mortality and complication rates. Despite the relative safety of the procedure, there have been concerns about the safety of the procedure when faced with an elderly patient. Even the most recent American Thoracic Society Guidelines on flexible bronchoscopy in adults list advanced age as a condition involving increased risk, considering the higher prevalence of ischemic heart disease and altered metabolism of sedatives and local anesthetics used during the procedure. Because of this, the myth that the elderly patient poses increased risk has been perpetuated. In this article we review the available literature to explore the validity of this myth.

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