Disinfection and Sterile Techniques
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is expanding with an increasing role in clinical decision-making and as an adjunct for clinical procedures. As transducers come into contact with more patients, sonologists must keep in mind the potential for a transducer to transmit pathogens between patients. Cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment is a necessary step to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Infections and deaths related to healthcare-associated infections burden the US healthcare system by $28 to $33 billion annually. In spite of this, there are no universally adhered-to guidelines for the disinfection of ultrasound probes. Across institutions, transducer decontamination practices vary widely. A recent trend has shown increasing stringency by hospitals and medical centers in enforcing strict decontamination practices, sometimes more than recommended. In this chapter, we will discuss probe contamination risks, disinfection recommendations, and several options for covering the ultrasound probe.
KeywordsUltrasound Probe contamination Probe cover Transducer Ultrasound disinfection Sterilization Ultrasound cleaning
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