An ultrasound machine is an important piece of diagnostic equipment for doctors and medical professionals. During this pandemic and the fears surrounding COVID-19, the medical industry needs every tool in the box to help people stay healthy. The ultrasound, or sonogram, is important not just for pregnant women, but for everyone, as it can uncover disease and problems in a noninvasive procedure. The ability to detect disease and tumors before they grow and develop can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why it’s important to learn how to take care of an ultrasound machine, so it can function properly and save lives.
Use the Machine Properly
Using the machine as instructed in the operator’s manual will keep it in good condition. Use of the machine by untrained personnel can lead to damaged parts, bugs in the software, and malfunctions. Little things like pounding on the keyboard and rolling over power cords will shorten the life of the machine. Breaks won’t occur immediately, but over time, that abuse will lead to breakdowns and costly repairs.
Disinfect the Machine Frequently
In a normal setting, it’s important to disinfect certain parts of the machine. Disinfection is even more important now in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transducer probe is the one part that is in constant contact with patients and technicians. Keeping that disinfected and clean is vital to prevent the spread of germs.
Clean the Machine Daily
As mentioned, keeping the transducer probe clean and disinfected is important for preventing the spread of germs. It’s also important to clean the rest of the machine too—on a daily basis. The keyboard and computer are dust-and-debris magnets that need a blow-out from pressurized air. Wiping down all the cables will keep them from gathering dirt. There are times that the cable to the probe could touch the patient, so keeping it clean is important.
Pay Attention to the Probe
Our final tip for how to take care of an ultrasound machine centers around the machine’s probe. The transducer probe is the most important part of the ultrasound machine. The sound waves that emanate from the probe are responsible for creating the image. If the probe starts to show signs of wear and breakdown, there can be a cascading effect on everything else. When the crystals in the probe break, it affects the image quality. The technician and doctor then have a hard time reading the image and making an accurate diagnosis. A frayed cable connection at the base of the probe carries with it the chance of electrocution, albeit a small one.