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How clean is your probe?

February 25, 2014 0 Comments

probe gelled

Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: Hospital-Wide Survey of Bacterial Contamination of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Probes and Coupling Gel

I find the results of this article surprising but welcome.  If your shop is anything like mine, it isn’t unheard of to see a probe covered in partly dried gel or even some blood in the resuscitation room.  There is always an offender or two in every department who thinks it’s someone else’s job to pick up after them.  I pity whoever their partner is at home.

Thankfully we all are (hopefully) doing a towel wipe followed by a chemical wipe for non-endocavitary probes between patients which has been shown in other studies to get rid of the VRE, MRSA, and general hospital-acquired cooties.

Of course, the extra level of cleaning for the transvaginal/endocavitary probes seems at odds with the cleaning of the other probes that can get just as exposed to bodily fluids, but no one said infection control had to be rational, (or even polite).

Worth keeping this article in your back pocket for when infection control makes its inevitable rounds in the ED and notices the battered, scruffy-looking ultrasound machine sitting in the corner.

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