New hospital protocol reduces invasive medical procedures in children

A new protocol developed in the pediatric department of Soroka University Medical Center could reduce the number of invasive tests and procedures that patients, especially children, have to undergo.

The new working method, developed by Dr. Inbal Golan Tripto, a pediatric lung specialist in the department, allows doctors to detect foreign objects that children may have swallowed, without the use of an invasive procedure known as a bronchoscopy.

The procedure was followed by pediatric specialist Dr. Shani Pozilov, who went on to win two awards from the Israel Society of Clinical Pediatrics for outstanding research work in 2020 and 2021.

Because non-metallic foreign bodies cannot be detected on chest X-rays, if it is suspected that a child has swallowed something that could obstruct the airways, they should be placed under general anesthesia and a camera inserted into the trachea.

Since testing the methods of Dr. Tripto in Soroka, more than 100 children have been successfully tested and treated without the need for a bronchoscopy, and due to the initial success of the procedure, it will be used in other emergency departments across the country in the near future.

“Over the past year and a half, we have developed and introduced a uniform protocol to the work routine that defines how to act in the event of suspected inhalation of a foreign body into the lungs in children,” said Dr. Tripto, who explains the procedure she created and implemented.

The procedure has yielded a 90% efficiency in detecting foreign bodies in children’s airways, and the number of bronchoscopies performed in 2020 has dropped significantly from previous years as a result.

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Speaking about the success of the new protocols, Dr. Pozilov: “The unique working method we have developed saves anesthesia and invasive intervention, expensive hospitalization time, a large workforce and significantly reduces anxiety in parents and children.”

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