There are several European and international recommendations for ultrasound probe disinfection. The most recent recommendation comes from the European Society of Radiology1 published in November 2017. It states:
“ High level disinfection is mandatory for endo-cavity US and all interventions after each exam.”
“ Subsequently, these consensus recommendations were discussed and agreed by the WG members who undertook this task, stressing that they need to be incorporated into local guidelines and must be compliant with respective national legislation.”
“ Another important aspect of automated systems is the standardised and reproducible decontamination process thus avoiding operator-associated errors or variations.”
Furthermore, the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB)2 published its recommendations in 2017:
“ All internal transducers (e. g. vaginal, rectal, transesophageal transducers) and intra-operative transducers, require a high-level of disinfection before they can be used in a new patient […] Automatic processes such as hydrogen peroxide methods are preferred, where approved by the manufacturer to guarantee a reproducible standardised and fast process.”
DID YOU KNOW?
of probes are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria following routine disinfection3.
up to 7%
of ultrasound probes were found to be contaminated with HPV after disinfection with low level wipes4,5,6.
Up to 9%
of barrier sheaths and condoms leak7.
HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS RISKS
Ultrasound probes are a potential source of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, posing a new challenge for infection prevention.
HPV is a serious sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cancer. As it becomes more prevalent, patients and clinical staff are increasingly at risk from HPV cross contamination infection.
As well as being transmitted sexually, HPV can be passed from one person to another via intracavity or surface ultrasound probes, if probes are not adequately disinfected before use. This alarming reality is backed up by clinical evidence.
Studies show that common disinfection methods, even high level disinfection methods, don’t kill the cancer-causing HPV on ultrasound probes.8 The HPV virus can survive and remain infectious on surfaces, including medical equipment, for days or weeks, when treated with common disinfectants.9
What is trophon2?
- Nyhsen CM, Humphreys H, Koerner RJ, Grenier N, Brady A, Sidhu P, et al. Infection prevention and control in ultrasound — best practice recommendations from the European Society of Radiology Ultrasound Working Group. Insights into imaging. 2017.
- EFSUMB (European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology) - 2017 http://www.efsumb.org/safety/resources/2017-probe_cleaning.pdf
- Leroy, SJ., Infectious Risk of endovaginatl and transrectal ultrasonagraphy, Journal of Hospital Infection, 83(2):99–106, 2012.
- Casalegno JS, Le Bail Carval K, Eibach D, Valdeyron ML, Lamblin G, Jacquemoud H, et al. High risk HPV contamination of endocavity vaginal ultrasound probes: an underestimated route of nosocomial infection? PloS one. 2012;7(10):e48137.
- Ma ST, Yeung AC, Chan PK, Graham CA. Transvaginal ultrasound probe contamination by the human papillomavirus in the emergency department. Emergency medicine journal. 2013;30(6):472–5.
- M’Zali F, Bounizra C, Leroy S, Mekki Y, Quentin-Noury C, Kann M. Persistence of Microbial Contamination on Transvaginal Ultrasound Probes despite Low-Level Disinfection Procedure. PloS one. 2014;9(4):e93368.
- Vickery K, et al. Evaluation of an automated high-level disinfection technology for ultrasound transducers, Journal of Infection and Public Health, 2013.
- Meyers J, Ryndock E, Conway MJ, Meyers C, Robison R. Susceptibility of high-risk human papillomavirus type 16 to clinical disinfectants. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69(6):1546–50.
- Ryndock EJ, Meyers C. A risk for non-sexual transmission of human papillomavirus? Expert review of anti-infective therapy. 2014;12(10):1165–70.
- Casalegno et. Al. : High Risk HPV Contamination of Endocavity Vaginal Ultrasound Probes: An Underestimated Route of Nosocomial Infection?, PLOS ONE, Oct 2012, Volume 7, Issue 10.
- Ma et al. : Transvaginal ultrasound probe contamination by the human papillomavirus in the emergency department, Emerg Med J, 2012.
- M’Zali et al. Persistence of microbial contamination on transvaginal ultrasound probes despite low-level disinfection procedure. PLoS One 2014;9:e93368.
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