Understanding and Following Ultrasound Safety Procedures
When it comes to medical procedures and the level of risk associated with them, an ultrasound is one of the safest. Ultrasounds are considered safe and effective because they are a noninvasive procedure and involve no risk. Some types of ultrasound involve the insertion of a probe, but usually through an orifice such as the mouth. Soundwaves create an image of the internal structures of the body, so there is no need for incisions. A good technician will employ best practices to mitigate any small risks there might be. Understanding and following ultrasound safety procedures ensures that the patient and sonographer will not experience any issues.
Safety and Best Practices
Ultrasound technicians should have the requisite training and experience to operate the machine effectively. They have been trained on the latest techniques and safety procedures so that they know what and what not to do, which minimizes any risks. The biggest thing for them is to minimize their own exposure, as they use the machine multiple times a day. Part of the training is focused on patient comfort and safety to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Some of the best practices and tips for safe operation include:
- Don’t touch the face of the transducer probe while the machine emits soundwaves.
- The number of ultrasounds for one patient should be limited. A few throughout pregnancy is normal, but beyond that circumstance, doctors should only order them in rare instances.
- Avoid overly long ultrasound sessions (over an hour) unless there is a specific and justified reason why.
- Do not hold the transducer in one spot for too long, especially over a fetal heart. If left in one place for too long the waves can damage delicate tissue.
- Keep the probe moving at an even rate of speed. It should move just fast enough to get the picture without stopping.
- Don’t use broken, malfunctioning, or defective parts or machines. If anything does not work properly, get the machine repaired immediately.
Safety and best practices, while paramount, will only get you so far. The new ergonomic and lightweight GE Logiq E9 is the most innovative, premium ultrasound available on the market today. Contact us with any questions you have.