To reduce ultrasound probe cross infection risk, it is really important to know when to perform the high level disinfection (HLD) process.
Why is it important?
If you don't properly reprocess your ultrasound probes between every patient use, you could be putting your patients at risk of serious infection. What's more, you may also be breaching compliance. Learn more here.
In recent years there has been a proliferation in ultrasound probe use.
With the development of new types of ultrasound procedures across a wide range of departments, ultrasound is now the most widely used and rapidly growing diagnostic modality in Australia and New Zealand.1 With ultrasound usage ever on the increase, the risk of infection from improperly reprocessed ultrasound probes has also grown.
You'll find ultrasound in use across departments ranging from traditional radiology/imaging, emergency and trauma centres, cardiology units, ICUs, maternity hospitals, private women's health clinics (including IVF centres) and urology departments, with millions of procedures being undertaken every week.
This is a real challenge for those responsible for infection prevention. With the huge variety of treatment and probe types it is important to ensure you are aware of requirements and apply correct and effective disinfection treatment to your ultrasound probes.
HLD must be applied to all semi-critical procedure probes.
Are you unsure as what constitutes a 'semi-critical' procedure? Do you apply high level disinfection to intracavity probes only?
We've put together a useful guide telling you exactly what sort of probe procedure requires the application of HLD before use. Note that the disinfection treatment you apply is always determined by what your probe is to be used for on the next patient (not what procedure has just been undertaken).
1. ACIPC-ASUM. Guidelines for Reprocessing Ultrasound Transducers. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 2017;20(1):30-40.