Growing use of external ultrasound probes used in interventions creates new infection prevention challenges

Dr Lia Moshkanbaryans1

1Nanosonics, Lane Cove West, NSW, Australia


A recent survey of infection preventionists published in the American Journal of Infection Prevention has revealed wide ranging practice related to reprocessing and use of ultrasound probes used to guide interventions. Ultrasound has expanded to almost every clinical setting and healthcare department making it one of the most utilised visualisation modalities in medicine. Much of this expansion has been driven by the clinical benefits of ultrasound guided invasive procedures including biopsies and vascular access. However, the variety of end users, procedures and departments can make managing infection prevention challenging.

In this session we will closely examine a range of ultrasound guided interventions and the application of Spaulding to guide risk management, reprocessing, gel and probe cover use decisions. Key studies will be examined documenting outbreaks and death from ultrasound guided vascular access procedures, tissue sampling and intraoperative procedures. Australian and international ultrasound use and reprocessing guidelines supporting the high level disinfection and sterilization of external probes used in interventions will be reviewed. Finally, an infection prevention toolkit for ultrasound developed by leading experts in global infection prevention will be discussed, developed as a set of practical templates and frameworks to guide the development of facility and department risk management and policy.

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