Bronchoscopy followed by a three-day hospital regimen of inhalations, postural drainage, expectorants, antibiotics, and supportive measures has proved an effective means of controlling chronic bronchitis, David H. Waterman, MD, told the Annual AMA Convention.
Waterman and two associates, Sheldon E. Domm, MD, and William K. Rogers, MD, treated more than 12,000 patients over a period of 18 years.
Because the disease is so prevalent, most patients and many physicians tend to underestimate chronic bronchitis, Waterman said.
"We deplore this attitude. The infection is insidious, indolent, and persistent. It resists the usual measures of therapy, and can progress inexorably to complete disability or death if persistently ignored. It can and should be effectively treated, but the attack must be vigorous and concerted."
Effective control of chronic bronchitis is based on three general concepts, Waterman said. These are: (1) control of the immediate problem; (2) avoidance of irritants, and (3) prompt and