Ultrasound probe failures

Ultrasound probe failures in GhanaThe proper care and regular testing of probes substantially influence the level of operating expenses related to the ultrasound systems in your department. In fact experience has shown that more than 70% of ultrasound service calls are in some fashion probe related.

Published studies have also shown that improperly functioning probes can materially impact the results of the ultrasound examination. Probe failures, when discovered early enough, can more often than not be repaired, potentially saving the deparment tens-of-thousands of dollars per year in operating expense.

This paper is designed to present the Sonographer with examples of common probe problems and how to spot them in a timely manner, while effective repairs can still be made. Further, suggestions are presented concerning what steps a Sonographer may take to insure optimal performance from the probe as well as obtaining the longest effective use of the product.

While it is clear that everyone involved with the maintenance of the ultrasound devices in your department is responsible for providing the patient with a safe and efficacious study, the lead for ensuring this falls to the Sonographer, the professional who handles the probes on a daily basis.

The Sonographer, by virtue of their work is the first to spot any changes in the ultrasound image, feel any slight electrical “tingles” from the probe, see any holes in the lens, cracks in the case of tears in the cable. Any of these signs of failure should be reported to the Hospital Biomedical Engineer or Clinical Engineer as soon as they are discovered.

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Download the complete Ultrasound probe failures manual.

Thermal printer head maintenance

Thermal printer head maintenance in GhanaUnderstanding thermal print head life

The print head is a very delicate and important portion of your thermal printer. Proper care must be taken with any portion of the printer, but it is especially important with this component. The goal of this document is to show you how to get the most mileage out of that critical component.

There are certain items on a thermal printer which are consumables. We traditionally think of consumables as Label or Ribbon, but there are also wear items which need to be considered as consumables as well. Some of these items would be print heads and platens.

The print head is an item which comes in constant contact with a moving product; this of course being the labels, ribbon and platen roller (roller directly underneath the print head). The quality of the labels and ribbon as well as the proper maintenance and care will have a direct affect on the print heads life.

This is much like the tires on your car, if you don’t periodically rotate, balance and align them you’ll end up replacing them much quicker then someone who does the manufacturers recommended maintenance.

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Download the complete Thermal printer head maintenance manual.

Elastography

Elastography in GhanaUltrasound technique to observe mechanical properties of tissue

Many diseases cause changes in the mechanical properties of tissues. Current imaging devices such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not directly capable of measuring these mechanical properties of soft tissue. Elastography as a straing imaging technique has been well established in the literature as a new imaging method. The straing distributions in tissues in response to an external compression are closely related to the distribution of tissue elasticity. These straing images can give a clear illustration of the underlying tissue stiffness which has been shown to provide useful clinical information.

In real-time elastography RF frames are acquired continuously and elastograms are generated in real-time by estimating the strain between sequential frames similarly to static methods. Fast algorithms are necessary in this kind of imaging. Strains between frames are small, thus the sensitivity of the algorithms is also very important.

Equipment and personal safety

  • Operate equipments according to manufactures instructions
  • Check equipment volt and operate accordingly
  • When moving equipment, avoid shock and vibration
  • Mount or operate equipment on a level and stable surface or ground
  • Ensure equipments have proper ventilator to prevent overheating
  • Adding and removing hardware must be done properly
  • Don’t plug equipment in a lose socket
  • Work area should be kept clean and tidy
  • Periodic maintenance by a technician is very necessary to clean and calibrate
  • Wear proper protective tools when operating equipments
  • Unauthorized or untrained persons should not operate equipments
  • Hand the equipments with care
  • Avoid being distracted trough irrelevant conversation/arguments
  • No house play in the work place
  • Avoid using accessories and cables other than those specified by manufacturers
  • Portable and mobile RF communication equipments such as cellular phones affect systems
  • Switch off all equipments at close of work or when not using for long time
  • For in-depth training and lectures on these topics, you can contact us.