Medical ultrasound disinfection and hygiene practices: WFUMB global survey results

Susan Campbell Westerway, Jocelyne M. Basseal, Jacques S. Abramowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


As ultrasound technology rapidly evolves and is used more frequently in every area of medical diagnosis and treatment, it may be overlooked as a potential vector in the transmission of a health care-associated infection. A survey on disinfection and hygiene practice in medical ultrasound was disseminated via the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) to its six member federations and associated ultrasound societies globally. One thousand twenty-nine responses were obtained across a broad range of ultrasound practitioners. A total of 76% of respondents used transducer covers every time to scan open wounds and 71% when blood and bodily fluids were present or for an interventional procedure. Approved high-level disinfectants are not always used, even when blood comes into contact with the transducer or after endocavity scans. Alcohol-based wipes were used by many respondents to clean both external transducers and endocavity transducers. Open-ended responses indicated that a large caseload hindered the time required for cleaning and that access to clear guidelines would be beneficial. Global survey results indicate that some users do not comply with disinfection practice, and there is a gap in knowledge on basic infection prevention and control education within the ultrasound unit. As the infectious status of a patient is not often disclosed prior to an ultrasound examination, training in suitable protocols for the cleaning and disinfection of ultrasound equipment is imperative to mitigate the risk of potential infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-352
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
Early online date06 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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