Trisonics Blog

Taking Care of the Equipment You Use: Your System


Your System...

Modern ultrasound equipment (post 2005) has changed greatly through the years. Because of this, it is essential to create a care and handling plan for your center for these vital pieces of equipment.

One major change in ultrasound is the size of the machine and components. As the equipment gets smaller, so do the fans installed to keep them from overheating. In the old days, no one cared how much dirt or dust was in the unit. They could handle it! Today, a little bit of dust could be detrimental. 


Care Tip #1: Heat-The greatest killer of electronic components
Make sure your filters are cleaned often! How often depends on your environment, but let's say that filters can't be too clean! Every 2 weeks is a good rule until you figure out how often they get dirty.

Additionally, you shouldn't overlook your work area. Backing a system into a tight corner could cause it to become hot and overheat quickly. 
Care Tip #2: Proper cleaning and disinfection of the unit
Modern plastics used on today's ultrasound machines are nice but they have weaknesses. They are more likely to discolor from cleaning wipes & sprays. Because they are thinner, these plastics can also crack easier. 
Generally, you should use soap and water to clean a unit. This is for routine cleaning (not in-between patients for disinfection). Soap & water is much better at removing dried gel than wipes. Disinfection needs to be done with an approved agent from the system manufacturer. Using unapproved agents, either in a spray or wipe, can cause harm to the unit.
*Even when using approved agents, the residue can cause permanent damage to parts on the system. 
QUICK TIP: The Yellow Stain Test

-If you are not sure that there is residue from a wipe or spray  on your unit, get a damp wash cloth.
-Rub the surface of the ultrasound unit, fairly hard.
-The wash cloth should not have any yellowing on it, but most  residue tends to come off as yellow.
Care Tip #3: Cleaning Monitors & Touch Screens
Special care needs to be taken with monitors and touch screens. Generally, you can't use anything on these but water or glass cleaner. If you are required to use a disinfectant, after it dries, be sure to wipe the residue off with soap and water.
Care Tip #5: Cracks In The Cosmetics
This issue is normally left to the discretion of the facility. These cracks are a great place for germs to hide out. Be sure to tell your engineer about any cracks, especially on the user interface. Cracks in this area should be replaced. 
Proper care of your ultrasound equipment is essential to the overall functionality and longevity of your machine. Routine maintenance by an experienced engineer coupled with proper daily care can help prevent more costly issues down the road.
Be sure to catch next month's newsletter, when we discuss ultrasound transducer care and handling tips!