Whenever there is contact with bodily fluids or mucous membranes during an ultrasound procedure, it is recommended that ultrasound probe coverings be utilized. The kind and quality of probe covers used in clinical practice varies greatly, and studies conducted in the early 1990s revealed that condoms were superior to commercial probe covers when it came to usage with transvaginal examinations (transvaginal exams). Despite the fact that products have evolved since then, no additional tests have been conducted to determine the breaking rate of various probe covers. The purpose of this study was to determine the integrity of the most widely used probe covers for transvaginal ultrasonography exams under clinical settings, as well as the breaking rate of these covers.
While there is no such thing as a flawless ultrasound probe cover, there are three key characteristics to keep in mind while selecting one:
- Should you use a sterile or non-sterile probe cover when performing a procedure?
- Should you choose a latex or a latex-free cover for your project?
- What size and form are most appropriate for your procedure?
The transducer must always be protected with a suitable sheath when doing an endocavity ultrasound exam (whether rectal or vaginal), no matter what the sort of exam is being done. In these circumstances, the ultrasonic probe is regarded as a semi-critical device and as such, it must be treated as such.
Latex coverings for interventional procedures are also available in sterile individual packets for use during operations. Consequently, they are ideal for operations such as prostate biopsies, ovarian biopsies, egg retrieval, and any other surgery in which the probe may come into touch with the circulatory system (or blood). They are also available in a range of sizes, which makes them much more convenient to use. You should, however, continue to monitor your patients and employees for any signs of allergies. Elastic bands are frequently placed in the pouch to aid in the proper placement of the sheath over the transducer.
When used in radiology, vascular access, pain management, orthopaedic, or anaesthesia operations, a general-purpose probe cover is intended to protect linear and curved transducers. This sort of cover will help to decrease the danger of infection while also protecting your equipment from bodily fluids and other contaminants. This probe cover is useful for a variety of operations involving potentially dangerous patients (suspected to transmit infections). You are also needed to use a cover while working with skin that is injured or non-intact, even when doing non-interventional ultrasounds (external routine examinations). Using non-sterile coverings in the operating room or for other invasive operations is not recommended. Most of the time, this probe cover does not come with gel. A sterile probe cover that is free of latex is necessary for a wide range of interventional procedures, including cardiac catheterization.
Intraoperative transducer coverings, also known as surgical transducer covers, are essential in the operating room. Since they are 96 inches in length, they not only cover the transducer but also the cable. Indeed, because the display is on the opposite side of the table, it is usual for the cable to be draped over the patient's shoulders. They are latex-free and equipped with sterile ultrasound gel as a standard feature.
Healthcare practitioners can choose from a variety of alternatives, including covers for accordions that are divided into two halves. The transducer is protected by a soft polyurethane portion, while the cord is protected by a cost-effective polyethylene sheath. Elastic bands are required to hold them together during assembly.