Data to guide evidenced-based practices are urgently needed as we face the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. Current guidelines regarding bronchoscopy represent expert opinion and suggest it should play a limited role in patients with known or suspected COVID-19. No data is currently available regarding how bronchoscopy is being utilized during this epidemic, its diagnostic yield for SARS-CoV-2, the rate at which it changes patient management, or its risk to patients and providers.
We developed an online survey tool allowing us to rapidly address the aforementioned gaps in current knowledge. This research has been reviewed by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center IRB and determined to be Exempt Research on the basis of 1) survey-only data acquisition; 2) no protected health information or other potentially identifiable data obtained regarding bronchoscopists or patients; 3) less than minimal risk.
We anticipate the majority of bronchoscopies during this pandemic will occur in the Intensive Care Unit, and through our network of more than 6000 chest physicians in more than 60 countries, we already know that most bronchoscopists do not have access to negative pressure rooms, and suffer from the lack of protective equipment.
We hope your organization will consider amplifying our global call for data on bronchoscopy during this pandemic by asking your members to contribute data to this effort. Participation requires only 3-5 minutes. We are not requesting your organization to officially sponsor or endorse this project. Included with this letter are documents related to this study for your review. We are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have and wish you well in these uncertain times.
For instructions, Institutional Review Board informations, and protocols, as well as to access the specially designed and highlighted COVIDBRONCH Literature Collection, go to: