Getting the Most from Your Ultrasound Equipment | National Ultrasound

Getting the Most from Your Ultrasound Equipment

Getting the Most from Your Ultrasound Equipment | National UltrasoundIn many health practices the ultrasound is a versatile piece of equipment that is used for much more than many people realize. Perhaps one use that may surprise the average patient is that ultrasounds can be used to assist with needle guidance. Recently, the Natural Ultrasound team has heard of some issues with the transducer  casing deteriorating, so we have done a bit of research to determine what is causing this problem.

It should first be noted that the issue with deterioration is not being seen in all practices that use ultrasound equipment, but rather it is most prevalent in practices where specialties such as sports medicine, orthopedic, vascular, endocrinology, podiatrists, and pain management are common. In addition, in scenarios where the deterioration occurred it was determined that the offices were using ethyl chloride at the needle injection site which was then transferred to the transducer . This was causing the head of the transducer  to break down. And while the amount of time it took this to happen varied, in one instance this occurrence took only six months!

What You Can do to Minimize Deterioration to Ultrasound Equipment 

For many practices, the ultrasound is an important part of the treatment process, so you need it to function properly every time your reach for it.  Here are some tips to keep your ultrasound in top condition.

  • Don’t skimp on time and cost by bypassing the use of probe sheaths or covers! We found that in the offices where deterioration was occurring, the sheaths were not being used every time. As a result, the probe head began to deteriorate due to a build-up of ethyl chloride.
  • After each use of the ultrasound probe, it is vital that the equipment be cleaned. Wearing gloves and using clean or soapy water, gently wipe off any gel on the tip of the probe head being sure to remove all foreign matters.
  • Rinse the probe with sterile water to remove any chemical residue.
  • Do not use a brush to clean the transducer as it will cause damage.
  • Minimize the use of non-sterile ultrasound gels.
  • After rinsing, dry the transducer using a sterile cloth or gauze. Drying is best done using a low-lint cloth. Never dry by using heat!
  • Do not allow the transducer probe to become overheated during the cleaning and disinfecting process. This can cause damage or deformity to the probe.
  • Rinse the probe with sterile water to remove any chemical residue.

As physicians, it is important to do all you can to minimize the amount of discomfort a patient experiences. Consequently, it is vital to take steps to prevent the deterioration of your equipment. So, don’t overlook the value of using the probe sheaths when performing ultrasound accomplished procedures and following the proper cleaning process. If you have additional questions about your ultrasound equipment, please give one of our Natural Ultrasound technicians and call. We are happy to help.