Ultrasound imaging equipment allows patients to grasp a clearer and more in-depth understanding of their diagnosis, so the accuracy of the sonography machine and the image it produces is absolutely vital; there is no room for error. This is why the frequent and thorough maintenance of your ultrasound machine is crucial. Staying on top of maintenance and ultrasound machine repair also extends your equipment’s life span exponentially.
With emerging technology, people are becoming too trustworthy of their ultrasound machine’s capabilities to stay intact. However, this false level of comfort and accusation have led to many unnecessary ultrasounds unit repairs that would have been preventable had they been appropriately maintained on a regular basis. Make sure you are taking the appropriate measures to prevent this from happening to you.
Wear and tear on your equipment is perfectly and normal and should be expected. No matter how high tech your sonography machine is and how experienced your radiologists are, parts of the machine like the ultrasound probe and transducer, monitor, and the control panel are bound to face inevitable mishaps. By maintaining your sonography device, you will end up saving money, stay up to OEM standards, and give you, your staff, and your patients the peace of mind they deserve. We’ve developed a list of what ultrasound imaging equipment you should be thoroughly maintaining, how often it needs to be maintained and why. We’ll also go into when you will need to consider ultrasound machine repair when maintenance just won’t do it anymore.
Probe / Transducer
The ultrasound probe is by far the most susceptible component of the ultrasound unit for wearing out, as it comes into contact with lots of foreign agents. Additionally, the friction that occurs during this act reduces accuracy over long periods of time. The ultrasound transducer contains piezoelectric stones that are responsible for transmitting ultrasound waves within the body. Once the waves transfer into the body, they reflect off of dense structures such as bone and organs. Ultrasound images are produced when these reflections are carried back to the transducer, then to the CPU.
As you know, this imaging is what allows sonographers to better diagnose what is happening by seeing the development occurring inside a body, such as the state of a baby or the organs. It is vital that transducers be navigated properly and carefully, as bad imaging will result from any improper use of the equipment.
Imperfections from this maneuvering are likely to occur over time, so constantly be on the lookout for any possible defects. Things to look out for are breaks on the handle, nose, links, and connector, as well as cuts, gouges, and swelling of focal point material.
When maintained and stored properly, an ultrasound probe/transducer can last up to seven years until you will need to consider repairs/replacements.
Also referred to as the central processing unit, consider the CPU as your ultrasound unit’s brain; it’s what converts the ultrasound waves into images that you see on the monitor. It also emits electric waves into the ultrasound probe, as well as controls the recurrence of ultrasound waves. The CPU is capable of storing images that are produced so that the sonographer or radiologist can access them at a later time.
Maintaining the CPU should be taken seriously, as it is a complex piece of equipment. Normal checkups and support are critical. When resetting the product, make sure to follow instructions per the make and model, and test the piece of equipment on a regular basis.
The control panel looks similar to a standard keyboard, with some additional features specific to the ultrasound machine. It is associated with the CPU as it is the way for the user to tell the CPU what function they would like to access during the imaging process. The control board helps in assisting the sonographer with control of the clearness of the image being produced onto the monitor.
When it comes to properly maintain the control board, make sure to look into checking the sharpness of the pictures (to assess that it is working properly), check for broken parts and keys on the console, as well as making sure the trackball functions correctly. Letting these issues go unnoticed and unfixed will cause flaws imaging to occur.
The monitor of the sonography machine resembles the screen of a PC; it is the gateway into seeing the image that is being produced by the ultrasound waves. Sonographers and radiologists can use the images that are displayed onto the monitor to correctly diagnose patients and inspect any deformities or oddities that may occur. Ultrasound machine monitors also allow its users to zoom in or sharpen the image for better examination. Some monitors, such as one found on a color Doppler ultrasound device, allow for radiologists to see what is happening inside the body without an X-Ray or injection.
Maintenance of the monitor ensures that the video functions are working properly and that it is able to focus and adjust on specific objects. Make sure to check the power supply functions and peripherals so that it is up to date on OEM requirements.
HDD Storage and Printers
Similar to a home PC, ultrasound devices have the ability to store information and video recordings to a cloud, or easily accessible place on the network. Having cloud access allows the user to get the information or video footage from any device connected to the internet, wherever they may be. Ultrasound devices also provide the option to print images that are displayed onto the monitor.
Like any home computer, ultrasound printers require frequent maintenance mechanically, as well as with ink cartridge replacements.
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