In a study of 100 patients undergoing rigid bronchoscopy under intravenous general anaesthesia with oxygen Venturi ventilation no major complications were observed. Minor complications included one adverse reaction to alphaxalone-alphadolone acetate (Althesin), one prolonged episode of laryngeal spasm after removal of the bronchoscope, and subsequent muscle pain attributed to suxamethonium in 36 patients. The last complication occurred significantly less frequently (p less than 0 . 025) in those patients who were pretreated with a small dose of a non-depolarising neuromuscular blocking agent. Serial arterial blood gas sampling in 10 patients showed adequate ventilation during bronchoscopy, but carbon dioxide retention developed in nine cases immediately after the bronchoscope was withdrawn. With adequate precautions, however, the procedure is safe and well tolerated, even in patients with severe impairment of respiratory function.
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