Sterilization of Non-TEE Transducers
Sterilization is required if the transducer enters otherwise sterile tissue without a sterile cover. If you use a sterile cover, you should sterilize, but you can disinfect (high-level disinfection). The main difference between sterilization and disinfection by immersion is the length of time the transducer is immersed. For information about disinfecting a non-TEE transducer, see High-level Disinfection of Non-TEE transducers.
To determine if your transducer requires sterilization or high-level disinfection, see Choosing the Correct Transducer Care Method.
Before sterilizing a transducer, read Warnings and Cautions and Transducer Care and Operator Safety.
- Always use protective eyewear and gloves when cleaning, disinfecting, or sterilizing any equipment.
- In intraoperative applications, sterilized transducers should be used with sterile gel and a sterile transducer cover.
- Sterile transducer covers are disposable and must not be reused.
- If a pre-mixed solution is used, be sure to observe the solution expiration date.
- Transducers must be cleaned after each use. Cleaning the transducer is an essential step before effective disinfection or sterilization. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using disinfectants.
- Use only liquid solutions to sterilize transducers. Using autoclave, gas (EtO), or other methods not approved by Philips will damage your transducer and void your warranty.
- Do not allow sharp objects, such as scalpels and cauterizing knives, to touch transducers or cables.
- When handling a transducer, do not bump the transducer on hard surfaces.
- Ensure that the solution strength and duration of contact are appropriate for sterilization. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sterilizing Non-TEE Transducers by Immersion
- Clean the transducer and cable according to the procedures in Cleaning Transducers, Cables, and Connectors. Observe all warnings and cautions.
- After cleaning, choose a sterilization solution that is compatible with your transducer, cable, and connector. For a list of compatible disinfectants, see Choosing Disinfectants and Cleaning Solutions. Follow the label instructions for preparation and solution strength. If a pre-mixed solution is used, be sure to observe the solution expiration date.
- Immerse the transducer in the sterilization solution as shown in the illustration. Do not immerse the connector, connector strain relief, or cable within 5.1 cm (2 inches) of the strain relief.
- Follow the instructions on the sterilization label for the duration of transducer immersion required for sterilization.
- Remove the transducer from the sterilization solution after the recommended sterilization time has elapsed.
- Using the instructions on the sterilization label, rinse the transducer in sterile water up to the point of immersion. Do not immerse the connector, connector strain relief, or cable that is within 5.1 cm (2 inches) of the strain relief.
- Using an appropriate disinfectant for the cable and connector, wipe or spray the cable, strain relief, and connector, following disinfectant label instructions for wipe durations, solution strengths, and duration of disinfectant contact. Ensure that the solution strength and duration of contact are appropriate for the intended clinical use of the device. Ensure that the disinfectant solution does not enter the device or the connector.
- Air dry or towel dry with a sterile cloth according to the instructions on the sterilization solution label.
- Examine the transducer for damage, such as cracks, splitting, fluid leaks, or sharp edges or projections. If damage is evident, discontinue use of the transducer, and contact your Philips representative.