What is a Mini BAL?
Mini or Blind BAL stands for bronchoalveolar lavage. It is described as blind (mini) because a bronchoscope or camera is not used to look at the lungs. A mini BAL is performed when someone suspects a patient has pneumonia.
What happens during a Mini BAL?
A small tube known as a catheter is placed inside the breathing tube or tracheotomy and into the lungs. A sample of sputum is removed and sent to the lab for processing. This sample will help confirm the presence of any infection. A doctor will then decide what medicines should be used to treat it.
What are the risks?
Risks are associated with any procedure. Be assured, the ICU staff is well prepared to handle these complications. In most cases, the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Hypoxemia or low levels of oxygen in the blood
- Increased intracranial pressures
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Hypotension or low blood pressure
- Bradycardia or slow heart beat
- Cardiac dysrhythmias or irregular heart patterns
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/15/2013
Copyright © 05/15/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6997
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