Internal Medicine

Endotracheal Washing

Endotracheal wash is a procedure to evaluate lungs for infection (pneumonia), inflammation, or cancer. For the endotracheal wash, the patient is anesthetized and an endotracheal tube is sterilely inserted from the mouth into the trachea. Sterile saline is inserted into the lungs and a sample is then retrieved for analysis (cytology and culture). An endotracheal wash can be performed with only light sedation and a flexible catheter is passed directly into the trachea.