Tracheal lavage

Tracheal aspirate

  • Intratracheally intubated small baby
  • Last exogenous surfactant application at least 20 days ago
  • Perform procedure as routinely done for care of intubated children, however the suction cathether is allowed to go much deeper into the lungs to recover more peripheral material
  • The tracheal lavage recovers mainly tracheal and bronchial secretions, not representative for the alveoli, therefore the method is only suitable for neonates that are very unstable




  • Try to collect as many tracheal aspirates (> 10!) as possible over a couple of days until the last minute before the samples are shipped
  • Tracheal aspirates are collected in mucus traps which should directly be frozen in a -20°C freezer without further treatment.
  • All tubes must be labelled with name and date!!