Sponsored by Avante HS
For ultrasound technicians to get the precise images required to provide well-informed care to their patients, all equipment must be operating at peak performance. This is especially true for ultrasound transducers. Ultrasound probes contain specialized, high-cost imaging technology yet are the only part of the ultrasound system that comes into direct contact with the patient.
Heavy imaging caseloads can cause wear and tear on ultrasound transducers, causing negative effects on image quality. While some ultrasound transducer damage from regular use is unavoidable, there are practical steps your facility can take to protect your investment. Below are five recommendations for protecting your facility’s ultrasound probes during use.
When carrying any ultrasound probe from one station to the next, be sure to always hold it by the both the connector and the scan head. When you transport a probe by the cable without any support given to the connector or the head, you raise your risk for impact damage.
When it’s time to clean your ultrasound probes, be sure to follow the probe manufacturer’s advice on appropriate disinfecting procedures. If technicians over-soak their probes, they will weaken the seals, yellow the cables, cause the lens to swell or in some cases lead to delamination.
When moving your ultrasound system around your facility, make sure all probe cables are off the floor and safe from the path of the system’s casters. If a caster runs over a probe cable, the weight of the system can cause broken wires or a tear in the probe cable’s outer lining.
While the probe is in use during studies, make sure you are not pulling too tightly on the cable at the housing strain relief. Too much strain can result in broken wires, which can cause noise in the image. Especially in cardiac probes using CW mode, if broken wires are present, you will have CW noise.
Always check the electrical safety, also known as the leakage, of the probe before putting it on any system. If the seals around the lens/housing are open, fluid can travel down the inside of the cable and into the connector. When engaged on the system, this can burn boards on both the system and in the transducer.
Carol Porter is the probe repair supervisor at Avante Health Solutions’ Center of Excellence in Charlotte, N.C. Avante provides state-of-the-art transducer repair for both general use and TEE probes with the broadest range of OEM coverage in the industry.
For more information on Avante’s ultrasound probe repair services, visit avantehs.com/ultrasound/services/probe-repair.
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