The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) has changed its ultrasound cleaning and safe handling guidelines amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.
The updated guidelines specify that healthcare professionals can disinfect external and interventional transducers with soap and water if low-level disinfection materials are not available. In addition, medical gloves, medical dressings, and other physical barriers should be used if there are no transducer covers.
The AIUM also noted that low-level disinfection is effective for external and interventional procedures, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The guidelines include a link to disinfectants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use against the novel coronavirus.
Other changes to the guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:
- Equipment requires full low-level disinfection if used for patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections that require mechanical ventilation, aerosolization application, and other aerosolization procedures.
- If possible, use a single, dedicated scanner and transducer system for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus can survive on plastic for up to 72 hours.
- Clean all ancillary equipment for a procedure when cleaning an ultrasound system.
- Follow manufacturer and institutional guidelines.