Extending the life of your ultrasound probes can be done in a few ways. First, by following proper handling protocol and second, by using the right disinfectant. Our intention is to offer handling tips to prolong the life and image quality of your ultrasound equipment, but still refer to your infection control personnel for final approvals.
Handling Your Ultrasound Probe
- Education of non-traditional users. While sonographers are well educated to protect ultrasound equipment, the growing user base of non-traditional users can result in increased accidental damage of the equipment. In general, the probe handle and the lens area must be protected with careful handling. When it comes to equipment handling, it’s critically important to ensure that everyone handling and using ultrasound equipment is fully trained.
- There is no 5-second rule! A large percentage of ultrasound probe repair is required because probes are accidentally dropped. While there are patient throughput requirements that require imaging staff to move efficiently, everyone should be aware of equipment costs, and every effort should be given to keep probes from hitting the floor (or any other hard surfaces). If you have a TEE probe, read our handling guide here!
- Can I borrow your glasses? Regular visual inspection of ultrasound equipment for cuts and cracks is important. The widening use of ultrasound has increased the daily runtime of many probes, making it even more important to regularly inspect probes from tip to connector. It is important to identify damage as early as possible to better allow for probe repair, as repair can be significantly less expensive than purchasing another probe.
Choosing the Right Disinfectant for Your Ultrasound Probe
We recommend following the instructions on the manufacturer recommended agent’s packaging for cleaning or disinfection. Additionally, check with your hospital infection control personnel if you have further questions about cleaning, disinfecting times, etc. Other things to consider are ventilation and soak times.
Feel free to contact us with questions in regard to transducer care, however, we will not be able to recommend a specific product for your facility.
Below are links to several ultrasound manufacturers’ transducer cleaner and disinfectants approval guides.
Per GE’s instructions, this website provides a summary. So, consult the basic system manual for further information. However, this tool allows you to match transducer to their approved cleaning, disinfection, and gel products. Including TEE transducer care. Click Here!
The link provided is to a 46-page PDF from Philips that provides disinfectants and cleaning solutions that are compatible with Philips ultrasound systems and transducers. For the systems or transducers not specifically listed, it recommends that you reference your system’s User Manual. Click Here!
Toshiba Medical, owned by Canon, has PDF’s for cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilization of diagnostic ultrasound transducer and transducer accessories linked here. For precautions and procedures for use, refer to the relevant operation manuals. Click Here!
Siemens provides general handling instructions and a link to their PDF that contains a list of cleaners and disinfectants for transducers. Click Here!
This link will take you to Sonosite’s support document page where you can find the materials for your system that may include transducer disinfectant instructions, depending on the system. Click Here!
Zonare & Mindray Ultrasound
Zonare and Mindray host the PDF that provides instructions on inspection, cleaning and disinfecting your transducers here!
Learn more about choosing the right disinfectant for your ultrasound probe in our blog post here!
How Probo Medical Can Help
Implementing best practices for handling ultrasound probes can go a long way to protect your investment. But even with the best handling practices, accidents do happen. If you need a new or refurbished ultrasound probe, give us a call at 866-513-8322 or email us at [email protected] and one of our knowledgeable ultrasound transducer sales specialists will be happy to answer your questions!
About the Author
Brian Gill is Probo Medical’s Vice President of Marketing. He has been in the ultrasound industry since 1999. From sales to service to customer support, he has done everything from circuit board repair and on-site service to networking and PACS, to training clinicians on ultrasound equipment. Through the years, Brian has trained more than 500 clinicians on over 100 different ultrasound machines. Currently, Brian is known as the industry expert in evaluating ultrasounds and training users on all makes and models of ultrasound equipment, this includes consulting with manufacturers with equipment evaluations during all stages of product development.