Warnings and Cautions for TEE Transducer Care
All imaging transducers are rated at a minimum IPX7 in accordance with IEC 60529, “Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures (IP code).” This rating indicates that the device is protected against the effects of immersion. Continuous wave (non-imaging) transducers are rated IPX1. This rating indicates that the device is protected against the effects of vertically falling water. For all TEE transducers, the control module is rated IPX1, while the endoscope is rated IPX7, in accordance with IEC 60529.
Cautions for TEE Transducer Disinfection and Sterilization
Obey the following safety precautions when disinfecting TEE transducers:
- Never sterilize the transducer with autoclave, gamma-radiation, gas, steam, or heat sterilization techniques. Severe damage will result. Avoidable transducer damage is not covered by the warranty or service contract.
- Do not bend the flexible shaft into a circle with a diameter of less than 0.30 m (1 ft).
- Do not use bleach on the transducer and flexible shaft.
- Do not use isopropyl alcohol-based products on any part of a TEE transducer except the connector housing and the handle.
- Do not soak the transducer for extended periods of time. Limit the time that transducers are soaked in disinfectant solution to the minimum time recommended by the disinfectant manufacturer.
- Do not rinse or immerse the handle, cable, connector, or the portion of the cable near the connector.
- Do not immerse or rinse the steering mechanism and handle.
- Follow the recommendations of the disinfectant manufacturer.
- The transducer steering mechanism is unsealed. If disinfectant or other fluid enters the steering mechanism, it corrodes the gears and electrical connections. Avoidable transducer damage is not covered by the warranty or service contract.
Minimizing the Effects of Residual Disinfectant
If you use an OPA-based disinfectant, residual solution may remain on your transducers if you do not carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Residual OPA on TEE transducers may cause temporary staining of the mouth and lip area and irritation or chemical burns of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.
To minimize the effects from residual OPA, or any other disinfectant, Philips recommends the following:
- Follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions very carefully. For example, the manufacturer of Cidex OPA recommends soaking transducers three times in fresh water.
- Use a protective transducer cover during endocavity and TEE studies.
- Use a sterile protective transducer cover with sterile ultrasound transmission gel during intraoperative and biopsy studies.
- Limit the time that transducers are soaked in the disinfectant solution to the minimum time recommended by the disinfectant manufacturer (for example, the manufacturer of Cidex OPA recommends a minimum of 12 minutes).