The 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.
Download the complete Ultrasound probe failures manual.