Management of hypoxemia during flexible bronchoscopy

Clin Chest Med. 2003 Sep;24(3):511-6. doi: 10.1016/s0272-5231(03)00050-9.


Under controlled conditions, FB is a safe procedure that has few significant adverse events. Significant hypoxemia may sometimes occur during FB despite the use of supplemental oxygen. UAO has been shown to be the dominant cause of hypoxemia during FB, and this is successfully managed with nasopharyngeal tube insertion. Other strategies that may need to be implemented include oxygen supplementation with intratracheal catheter, administration of sedation reversal medication, removal of the bronchoscope, bag-and-mask ventilation, and, rarely, endotracheal intubation and ventilation. Access to an anesthetist, availability of propofol, backup rigid bronchoscopy, and fluoroscopy are optional but desirable components in the bronchoscopy suite.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / etiology
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Hypoxia / therapy*
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Tracheal Stenosis / therapy


  • Oxygen