A 72-year-old man was transferred to our hospital for refractory severe acute respiratory syndrome. On arrival, he was intubated and mechanically ventilated. Furthermore, he required veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Two days later, he was extubated and supported with periods of non-invasive ventilation (NIV), with a new mask. Because of large amounts of bronchial secretions that he was not able to expectorate, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB) was performed to remove the secretions, without interrupting NIV support. During the procedure, the patient remained hemodynamically stable, breathing spontaneously and with just a mild reduction in oxygen saturation (SpO2) (97.9% vs. 96.8%). This case report highlights the possibility of performing upper endoscopic procedures, such as FFB, during non-invasive ventilation in patients in whom this respiratory support is required and its interruption may be harmful.
Key words: non-invasive ventilation, acute respiratory distress syndrome, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy, intensive care unit