COPD & Anaesthesia

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality throughout the world. It is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the world.1 An estimated 3 million people have COPD in the UK, of whom 2 million have undiagnosed COPD.2 It is responsible for over 30,000 deaths, 1.4 million General Practitioner consultations, a million hospital bed days and it costs the NHS over £800 million each year.3

The role of the bronchoscopy nurse

Bronchoscopy is an invasive procedure that allows the direct examination of the larynx, trachea and bronchi using either a flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope or a rigid metal bronchoscope.4,5 Nurses perform an important role supporting patients undergoing bronchoscopy. In this article, we review the role of the bronchoscopy nurse in 3 surgical stages.

Medtronic Respiratory & Monitoring Solutions EMEA

  • 1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (2016) Pocket Guide to COPD diagnosis, management and prevention. Available at:

  • 2. NICE (2015) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Available at:

  • 3. Primary Care Respiratory Society UK (2013).  Reviewing people with COPD. Available at:

  • 4. Martin, P. (2019) Bronchoscopy. Nurse Labs. Available at

  • 5. Martin, J. (2013) Preparing and supporting patients undergoing a bronchoscopy. Nursing Times. Available at