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Insights Imaging. 2017 Dec;8(6):523-535. doi: 10.1007/s13244-017-0580-3. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

Infection prevention and control in ultrasound - best practice recommendations from the European Society of Radiology Ultrasound Working Group.

Author information

1
Radiology Department, City Hospitals Sunderland, Kayll Road, Sunderland, SR4 7TP, UK. nyhsenc@doctors.org.uk.
2
Department of Clinical Microbiology, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
3
Department of Microbiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
4
Infection Prevention and Control Department, Department of Microbiology, City Hospitals Sunderland, Kayll Road, Sunderland, SR4 7TP, UK.
5
Service d'Imagerie Diagnostique et Interventionnelle de l'Adulte Groupe Hospitalier, Pellegrin Place Amelie Raba-Leon, 33076, Bordeaux, Cedex, France.
6
Department of Radiology, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, T12 WE28, Ireland.
7
King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS, UK.
8
Clinic Villarroel 170, 8036, Barcelona, Spain.
9
Wilhelminenspital, Montleartstr. 37, 1160, Vienna, Austria.
10
Radiology, Policlinico G.B. Rossi, VERONA, piazzale LA SCURO 10, 37134, Verona, Italy.
11
NHC, 1, Place de l'Hôpital, 67091, Strasbourg, France.
12
Children Hospital, University Hospital - Nancy Brabois, Rue du Morvan, 54511, Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, Cedex, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of these recommendations is to highlight the importance of infection prevention and control in ultrasound (US), including diagnostic and interventional settings.

METHODS:

Review of available publications and discussion within a multidisciplinary group consistent of radiologists and microbiologists, in consultation with European patient and industry representatives.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Good basic hygiene standards are essential. All US equipment must be approved prior to first use, including hand held devices. Any equipment in direct patient contact must be cleaned and disinfected prior to first use and after every examination. Regular deep cleaning of the entire US machine and environment should be undertaken. Faulty transducers should not be used. As outlined in presented flowcharts, low level disinfection is sufficient for standard US on intact skin. For all other minor and major interventional procedures as well as all endo-cavity US, high level disinfection is mandatory. Dedicated transducer covers must be used when transducers are in contact with mucous membranes or body fluids and sterile gel should be used inside and outside covers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Good standards of basic hygiene and thorough decontamination of all US equipment as well as appropriate use of US gel and transducer covers are essential to keep patients safe.

MAIN MESSAGES:

• Transducers must be cleaned/disinfected before first use and after every examination. • Low level disinfection is sufficient for standard US on intact skin. • High level disinfection is mandatory for endo-cavity US and all interventions. • Dedicated transducer covers must be used for endo-cavity US and all interventions. • Sterile gel should be used for all endo-cavity US and all interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Disinfection; Guidelines; Infection prevention and control; Patient safety; Ultrasound

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