Blood Damaged Ultrasound Machine - Repairing the Unrepairable
Many times the accomplishments of the HTM go unsung. Being a member of the unsung hero club, Erasmo Sanchez was asked to write a few words about how he saved a California medical facility’s GE Vivid E95 worth $200K.
By: Erasmo (Mo) Sanchez, Repair Manager, Conquest Imaging, an MXR Imaging Company. Mo oversees the production floor at the Stockton, California facility, MXR Ultrasound Division.
Late last year, in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, I received a call from the Service Department regarding a referred distress call. The distress call was from a troubled healthcare facility who had an Operating Room incident that resulted in the spilling of almost an entire bag of blood on top of their GE Vivid E95 ultrasound. The blood had spilt over the back of the machine and leaked through the cosmetics entering the card cage and power supply. Not only were they worried about contamination, but apparently when the body fluid reached the power supply, the ultrasound machine shut down.
The medical facility had already been in contact with their service provider and they were told that the unit was unrepairable, and they would need to replace it at a cost of $250K. Conquest Imaging, an MXR Imaging Company, was a good choice for a second opinion because of our extensive ultrasound experience. After our on-site FSE team initially assessed the system and gathered all the relevant information from the customer, we quoted the work. We knew if there was a chance to save the unit, the ultrasound engineering expertise at our Stockton, CA facility would be their best option. They agreed to send us the unit for a full evaluation.
When the system first arrived, I personally conducted a top to bottom inspection. It had been 6 weeks since the incident and I noticed that almost every cosmetic cover had some remnant of blood contamination. I removed all of cosmetic covers right down to the frame and placed all of the cosmetics on a cart for decontamination.
I gathered the parts from inventory I knew would need to be replaced: the main power supply and the fan tray. Since replacing the fan tray would require opening up the card cage I took this opportunity to inspect the cards inside. Sure enough, all of cards had blood residue on them, some cards were worse than others were.
The card cage itself was covered in blood. The system frame had a large pool of dried blood just underneath the card cage but just above the fan tray.
The GRLY board and the backplane had the least amount of blood on them and I was able to decontaminate these parts for reuse. The remaining cards had large pools of blood that had dried on the board. I initially thought that I would be able to clean the blood off by using our ultrasonic cleaning method that is usually quite powerful and has proved successful in other repairs, but this proved to be unsuccessful, even after three cycles.
Upon further inspection, I found that some blood had traveled underneath the BGA chips. With this new discovery, I decided the boards needed replacing since I would be unable to clean the BGA chips without removing each chip one by one.
I removed all of the boards and the card cage itself and replaced the cage. I cleaned the boards that could be cleaned and replaced the others that were unable to be cleaned.
Now that the cage was out I could focus on the large pool of blood at the bottom of the frame. I scrubbed off all of the excess dried blood before applying bleach solution to continue the disinfection process. Meanwhile I also worked on disinfecting the cosmetic covers and trim.
Due to the amount of blood and the extent of how long it had been dried onto the system we had to soak the cosmetic pieces to ensure the components were completely sanitized and returned to like new order. I then cleaned the rest of the frame in the same manor and allowed proper dry time between disinfectant cycles.
Once this was all complete I began reinstalling the card cage, cards, BEP, power supply and all of the cable connections. The system powered right up, however I got an error code just before entering imaging mode. I decided to replace the hard drive inside the BEP and reloaded the software. This remedied the situation and now the system booted up without any issue.
I reloaded the customer’s presets and now the machine was back in working order.
After conducting the final inspections, I reinstalled all of the cosmetics pieces, cleaned up the control panel, trackball, trackball ring and the touch screen and main monitor. The system was now complete and functioning to OEM specifications.
We were able to return a fully functional GE Vivid E95 system to the California healthcare facility who was pleased we saved them $250K. Although this is not a service we usually provide, it was a testament of Conquest Imaging, an MXR Imaging Company unique capability.
Edited by: Jacque Guerra