Home Emergency Medicine May Be Room for Improvement in U/S Transducer Hygiene

May Be Room for Improvement in U/S Transducer Hygiene

Research indicates some institutions use cover materials of unacceptable permeability

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For endoluminal procedures relying on barrier protection to avoid contamination, permeability of materials may not always be considered, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound.

Mikael Häggström, M.D., from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues examined whether current hygiene practices are appropriate during sonographic examinations. Questionnaires were completed for 25 departments in five major hospitals in Sweden by personnel who were responsible for or acquainted with the local hygiene procedures.

The researchers found that for transvaginal and transrectal sonographic examinations, the most common method for decontamination of the transducer was barrier protection during the procedure and alcohol cleansing after the procedure. The predominant cover material was latex. One department used polyethylene gloves and another used nitrile gloves — both for transvaginal ultrasonography. All hospitals were using alcohol and paper or cloth for decontamination at a minimum in transcutaneous examinations. Barrier protection was not used in transesophageal examinations, and decontamination was performed with an alkylating agent.

“The hygiene practices appear to be appropriate at most hospitals, but there is a prevalence of transducer cover materials of unacceptable permeability, as well as use of gloves on transducers despite insufficient evidence of safety,” the authors write.

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