Twelve successive patients with massive haemoptysis were treated by emergency rigid bronchoscopy and lavage of the bleeding lung with cold saline. All patients stopped bleeding during the procedure and all blood and clot was evacuated from the accessible airways. The bleeding source was localised to a lobe in seven cases, and lateralised in the remaining five patients. Five patients had a second haemorrhage during that hospital stay and cold saline lavage again terminated it. Further therapy, either surgical or medical was based on information obtained during the respite from haemorrhage achieved with this technique. There was no hospital mortality in the series.