Central Referral Hospital successfully conducts Bronchoscopy amidst COVID-19 pandemic fears

Gangtok, 14 Sept: A bronchoscopy was recently successfully performed on a middle-aged man by a team of doctors at Central Referral Hospital (CRH) here to treat a tumour in the lungs amidst Covid-19 pandemic fears.

A bronchoscopy is a procedure that is performed by lung specialists to diagnose or treat a variety of lung-related diseases. Bronchoscopy allows a doctor to examine the inside of the lungs and airways.

A middle aged man from Burtuk who had complaints of blood in sputum and chest pain on and off since April 2020 came to the Department of Respiratory Medicine, CRH one week back. After doing CT of the Thorax, he was found to have a mass (tumour) in the right upper lobe of the lung.

A diagnostic bronchoscopy was planned for the patient. Amidst the fear of Covid-19 infection, a RTPCR test was done for the patient and he was tested negative. Bronchoscopy was performed by Head of Department, Dr Prakash Koirala, Respiratory Medicine, Dr Dawa Bhutia and team taking all precautions and safety measures. The procedure revealed a tumour in the upper lobe of the right lung. It had almost narrowed the right upper lobe bronchus (wind pipe). Biopsy was taken and patency of wind pipe was maintained.

CRH is equipped with Bronchoscopy and has been doing the procedure for the past one year where procedures like BAL (Broncho alveolar lavage), FNAC (Fine needle aspiration cytology), biopsy for diagnosis of different respiratory diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer, interstitial lung diseases, Sarcoidosis, etc. can be done. It is therapeutic also in patient whose wind pipe has been blocked during mechanical ventilation (in ventilator) to suck out and remove secretions.

In the past, patients were being referred to neighbouring state for bronchoscopy but now the patients can be diagnosed and tested in Sikkim itself at CRH.