Introduction: Thermal ablative therapies (laser, radiofrequency ablation, electrocautery, argon plasma coagulation) are often used during rigid bronchoscopy for the treatment of central airway obstructions (CAO). An airway fire is a feared complication that can occur during endobronchial thermal ablation.
Materials and methods: This was a single-center, retrospective, observational study. A total of 175 patients were reviewed undergoing rigid bronchoscopy in the operating room and bronchoscopy suite requiring manual hand jet ventilation and thermal therapy between September 2014 and September 2018. The study objective was to determine the safety of manual hand jet ventilation during endobronchial thermal therapies with rigid bronchoscopy.
Results: Over a five-year period, 175 patients underwent endobronchial thermal therapy during rigid bronchoscopy with manual hand jet ventilation for the treatment CAOs. Immediately prior to thermal therapy activation, jet ventilation was paused. No incidences (0/175) of airway fires occurred despite immediate delivery of thermal energy following a jet ventilation hold.
Conclusions: Results of our study show that performing thermal ablative therapy during rigid bronchoscopy with jet ventilation using a breath-hold technique is safe.