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
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.
ξ Hypoxemia or low levels of
oxygen in the blood
ξ Increased intracranial pressures
ξ Hypertension or high blood
ξ Hypotension or low blood
ξ Bradycardia or slow heart beat
ξ Cardiac dysrhythmias or
irregular heart patterns
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6997