Ultrasound imaging is a tool that is frequently performed by sonographers, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. With increasingly higher numbers of clinicians using ultrasound, it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone on your team knows how to properly care for their transducers.
High-level disinfection is defined as the chemical method of killing all microorganisms in or on a medical instrument, except for a small number of bacterial spores. 1 Typically utilized after a sem-critical medical device (i.e. any device that contacts intact mucous membranes or non-intact skin, such as an ultrasound probe) is handled during a medical procedure, high-level disinfection is used as a means of sanitizing the device of any and all potential contamination, and is considered to be a crucial step in most probe disinfection processes. 2
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer currently ranks as the second most common type of cancer in American men, with 2022 predicted to see 268,490 new cases, and 34,500 of those cases estimated to lead to deaths. Even more shocking? The ACS also estimates that 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime…and 1 in 41 men will die of it. 1
Maintaining infection prevention & control (IPC) protocol for your ultrasound probes that ensures the integrity of your transducers and the safety of your patients is important to work. It also, unfortunately, can be trickier than it looks.
The utilization of ultrasound with aiding in vascular access procedures has been a regular practice for nearly four decades. Over that time, a great deal has been learned about the best ways to optimize the efficiency of ultrasound within such procedures, ensuring that patients receive the best, most streamlined care possible. Of course, knowing which ideas to implement – and how and when to implement them – can be challenging.
Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine
Since 1984, ultrasound has been regularly utilized in a wide variety of vascular access procedures, ranging from ultrasound-guided central venous catheterization to femoral artery cannulation to arterial access. 1 2 Ultrasound’s superior procedural advantages – combined with its cumulative benefits in terms of safety and success– make it a popular tool for practitioners conducting vascular access procedures. 2
Ultrasound is often used by vascular access teams and nurses to guide certain vascular access procedures, such as placing PICC lines or difficult access peripheral IVs (PIVs). Improving patient safety and outcomes is needed for vascular access interventions, and there are other specific considerations when using ultrasound.
Infection prevention in vascular access is a widely discussed topic, and this post will outline research and guidelines specific to ultrasound-guided procedures.
Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine
Medical facilities exist to care for and improve the health of their patients. However, a major concern for patients is the risk of getting an infection during a procedure or hospital stay. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are acquired while patients receive health care for another condition1 and can occur 48 to 72 hours after treatment.2
The Joint Commission (TJC) states: “Standardizing the use of high-level disinfectants and sterilization practices are critical for ensuring that medical equipment, devices, and supplies do not transmit infectious agents to patients.”1
A previous blog post took you through the necessary steps for cleaning ultrasound transducers in How to Clean an Ultrasound Probe. Cleaning is a fundamental step that cannot be skipped before you disinfect the ultrasound probe. Now we’ll go over the process of high-level disinfecting an ultrasound probe. Since there’s a lot to cover, we’ve broken it up into two parts.