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Many bronchoscopists routinely administer atropine prior to each procedure. Is this of benefit, or should we wait for the occasional vasovagal reaction before administering the drug? Also, there are no studies comparing different sedative and analgesic regimens.
Fauroux et al have shown that science can and should contribute to the art and science of bronchoscopy. Their article has pointed out the usefulness of nitrous oxide in pediatric bronchoscopy. They have emphasized several methods to study sedatives and analgesics in bronchoscopy. Their article also reminds of us of the importance of answering questions about the best way to do something. Broncho-scopists should heed Aesop’s warning about “familiarity breeding contempt.” Because the procedure is generally safe and tolerated, it does not mean it is as well-tolerated and as safe as it might be. The scientific collection of data regarding the safety, efficacy, cost, and comfort of bronchoscopy is necessary. By collecting such data, we can hope someday to attain the proper balance among the competing goals of safety, cost, efficacy, and efficiency.
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