I’ve been asked to help organizations improve their probe care and handling techniques to reduce the overall cost for repair and replacement. Since the #1 cause of damage and need for repair is the mishandling of probes, you can become the catalyst for reducing the cost of replacement and repair by educating end users and adding periodic checks.
PROPER PROBE CARE AND HANDLING
Sonographers are handling the probes on a daily basis. Each cable is vulnerable. Each connector pin is vulnerable. Every sterilization process creates an opportunity for damage if improper procedure is used or if a damaged probe is immersed in a solution. Because of their daily use and vulnerability, there is a high risk of damage. Typically physical damage to probes is NOT covered by warranty and can cost the facility several thousands of dollars.
Most common avoidable damage includes:
- General imaging probes: broken cable casings
- Transesophageal probes: over-soaking, bites though the probe tube
HOW DO YOU REDUCE THE RISK OF DAMAGED PROBES?
1. Get to know the sonographers in the department or in your facility.
2. Find out how they are handling, storing, transporting, and sterilizing the probes.
3. . Make recommendations to improve their care and handling
a. rolling excess chord, protecting it against casters when transporting
b. using sterilizing methods consistent with the OEM recommendations
c. Transesophageal: are they using bite guards with their patients?
4. Conduct periodic visual inspection of probes – during scheduled PM’s and during all service calls
By performing the above mentioned actions, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your probes.
AUS Tech Support can assist with probe assessment, probe care and handling advice, or any other issue. If you have questions, call 866-620-2831.
By: Jim Rickner