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Is a Bronchoscopy needed for pt who chokes on dinner?


Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Here's the scenario:

Pt chokes on meatloaf, exact amount unknown. He coughs some up, airway not obstructed.

Shouldn't a bronchoscopy be done in case some of the food is in the patient's lungs? If not, can't they end up with pneumonia?

Obviously, we all choke on our food at some point and don't end up with pneumonia, but just curious.

CraigB-RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics. Has 40 years experience.

Nope, not unless there is some clniical evidense to support, like CXR changes, desating,and lots of other bad stuff. The reality is that very few of the patients who choke on something aspirate it.


Specializes in STICU; cross-trained in CCU, MICU, CVICU. Has 6 years experience.

agree with Craig...unless the patient is demonstrating worsening symptoms there is no point to do an invasive procedure which could create more problems....


Has 5 years experience.

They might do a pharynoscopy to assess to compentency of the Larynx. This looks like a small bronchoscope.


Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks all! Seems we have had too many vented admissions lately from patients who've choked on food...pizza, waffles! Wanted to make sure I didn't miss something!