Since March 2019, disinfection standards for TEE and endocavitary probes have been updated. It is now mandatory to disinfect your probes after each medical exam. The authorities have approved two ways to sanitize your probes: Automated disinfection and manual disinfection. In a previous article, we at PRS Health Care showed you the benefits of automated disinfection. Today, we will tell you why manual disinfection is less trustworthy.
The manual disinfection process
In order to sanitize manually your TEE and endocavitary probes, they should be immersed in a tub filled with disinfecting products. Unfortunately, this method has two main drawbacks.
The exposure time
For your probes to be properly sterilized, you have to observe very carefully the length of time during which the probe is exposed to detergent products. If it’s too short, the disinfecting product won’t be efficient enough and the TEE and endocavitary probe might not be totally cleaned and disinfected.
Unfortunately, the soaking time can also be too long. If your probes are soaked for a longer time than recommended, they will be exposed to severe risks. Cleaning and disinfecting products can corrode the TEE and endocavitary probes and break into them. Accordingly, it may cause severe damage to the equipment and compromise the correct functioning of the probes. They might even become irrecoverable.
The rinsing process
One of the other problematic points with this manual disinfection process is the rinsing method. The health authorities made it very clear: “the rinsing process is crucial in order to eliminate all disinfecting products residues, which may be potentially toxic for the patients”. Because of course, the cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease.
Visible and invisible flaws
20 % to 25 % of the probes fleet affected
As we said before, disinfecting products may cause corrosion which can severely damage your TEE and endocavitary probes. But did you know that 20 % to 25 % of the probes fleet have visible or invisible flaws? Studies have shown that this high percentage has consequences on maintenance costs obviously, but also on the accuracy of the probes.
For example, only a few piezoelectric crystals damaged may cause lower definition, loss in tissue depth and deterioration of the doppler spectrum. All these flaws are detrimental to the global quality of diagnosis and can’t be seen right away.
Therefore, manual disinfection process might make this percentage of invisible flaws even higher and aggravate the state for your TEE and endocavitary probes fleet.
Audit and automatic washer-disinfector
This is why our laboratory, leader in the repair and maintenance of all brands of ultrasound probes, offers audits of your probes fleet in order to detect those visible and invisible defects.
Even better, since september 2019, we now market two types of automatic washer-disinfectors for TEE probes. Both have been validated following the ISO 15883-4 Standard and offer a safer cleaning and disinfecting process. You want to learn more about our automatic TEE probes washer and disinfector? Feel free to contact us.