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Cleanliness is next to…

October 7, 2018

Every so often, we receive a question regarding endocavitary probe cleaning procedures. So I thought I would post some information regarding our process in Sudbury. In essence, you cannot go wrong if you use the same procedure as your radiology department.

Our cleaning process has been stable for many years. We involved different stakeholders in creating and adapting our policy. For instance, our ward aids are an integral part of the cleaning procedure. Many years ago, we asked Debbie, one of our ward aids, if she thought it would be best if we had our emergency physicians be the ones doing the cleaning. Here is a picture of Debbie when we asked her this question.

Can you tell from the look on her face what her response was? Right… So, we did not leave this to our emergency physicians. Here’s what we do.

When we need to use the endocavitary probe for a first trimester pregnancy case or a rule-out peritonsillar abscess case, we ask the ward aid to bring the probe to the patient’s room. The ward aid gets one of our 2 EC probes from a locked cabinet. The cabinet is an area of the ED where we are most likely to use the probe. Makes no sense to store the probe at the other end of the ED 🙂

He/she then documents the patient on which the probe is to be used, as well as the physician using it. Here is an image of one of our blank forms.

There is also a documentation sticker that goes in the nursing notes:

The emergency physician plugs the probe into the machine, prepares the probe appropriately, and performs the scan on the patient. Once completed, the nurse contacts the ward aid to have them disinfect the probe. The ward aid removes the sheath if not already done and then wipes the probe with an approved germicidal wipe. He/she then proceeds with the disinfection procedure using the device shown here. The device is in one of our dirty utility areas, the one closest to where we most commonly use the EC probe.

Once done, he/she completes the documentation of the cleaning procedure, places the probe back in its bucket, and locks it back in the cabinet.

And that’s it! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them.

Reams of further info from these resources:

PDF from BC College of Physicians

Dr Laleh Gharahbaghian’s Sonospot website




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