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Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine: A perfect breeding ground for infection?

Posted by Nanosonics on Oct 20, 2017 6:06:04 PM

Ultrasound Ever Increasing Diagnostic Tool

Point of care ultrasound has become a cornerstone in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the ED. With quick turnaround times, it is often not practical to move probes to and from centralized soaking stations for disinfection. A recent study set out to investigate the potential for contamination with patients’ blood and microbes on ultrasound transducer probes in EDs. Results showed that there can be significant contamination of ultrasound equipment, with 57% of ultrasound probes tested showing blood contamination and 46% showing microbiological contamination. 

In the US there are 130.4 million Emergency
Department (ED) visits every year,1 and ultrasound isUltrasound Blood HR cmyk 02-2.jpg
increasingly being used as a diagnostic tool. The ED
is a busy place, subject to rapid patient turnover and
even overcrowding.2 There are often multiple patients
in close proximity: those who are chronically ill next
to those who are not; the immunocompromised next
to those suffering from infection and fever. Usually,
it is only corridors or curtains that separate these
individuals. Such a setting unfortunately provides an
ideal environment for the transmission of healthcare
acquired infections (HAIs) amongst both patients and
staff. Considering that 1 in 25 hospital patients have at
least one HAI on any given day,3 infection prevention
can be a real challenge.

How Safe is Your Ultrasound Equipment?

Point of care ultrasound has become a cornerstone in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the ED.4 With quick turnaround times, it is often not practical to move probes to and from centralized soaking stations for disinfection. A recent study set out to investigate the potential for contamination with patients’ blood and microbes on ultrasound transducer probes in EDs.5 Results
showed that there can be significant contamination of ultrasound equipment, with 57% of ultrasound probes tested showing blood contamination and 46% showing microbiological contamination.5

Introducing trophon® EPR

trophon is the safe, versatile and simple way to high level disinfect your ultrasound probes.It is fully mobile, can be conveniently used at point of care, and is compatible with a huge range of ultrasound probes, including surface probes commonly used in the ED. The powerful disinfection technology used by trophon has been proven effective against the widest range of microorganisms, including high-risk HPV, while minimising exposure to chemicals for both patients and healthcare professionals. Its compact, self-contained design means that you can use it at the point of care, negating the need to carry the probes to a central disinfection station.

Here’s why one busy New York hospital uses trophon in their Emergency Department…

“It saves time … we don’t have to move the probes to different floors, and the time until the probe is ready is short…. the unit is low maintenance, it’s so easy to use”


“Everybody really likes using it” “It has saved us money by reducing probe damage due to moving probes around”


Have you trophoned today?
Join over 3,000 health care facilities (including 49 of the top 50 hospitals) who do
Learn more at www.nanosonics.us


References: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emergency Department Visits. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ fastats/emergency-department.htm. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Emergency Department Summary Tables. 2010. [2/15/2014]; Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ data/ahcd/nhamcs_emergency/2010_ed_web_tables.pdf. 3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HAI Data and Statistics. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/. 4. Shokoohi HA, Armstrong P, Tansek R. Emergency department ultrasound probe infection control: Challenges and solutions. Open Access Emergency Medicine. 2015;7:1-9. 5. Keys M, Sim BZ, Thom O, Tunbridge MJ, Barnett AG, Fraser JF. Efforts to Attenuate the Spread of Infection (EASI): a prospective, observational multicentre survey of ultrasound equipment in Australian emergency departments and intensive care units. Crit Care Resusc. 2015;17(1):43-6.

Nanosonics, Inc. 17205 E 87th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46256 USA

T: 1-844-TROPHON. 1-844-876-7466. NAN0021

Topics: Emergency Medicine: