Evaluation of Current Disinfection Practice of Transvaginal Ultrasound Probes in a Philippine Tertiary Referral Hospital: A Comparative Study on the Performance of Manual Reprocessing Methods

  • Diana Lorraine R. Laurilla-Niemann Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Melissa D. Amosco Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
Keywords: transvaginal ultrasound, manual reprocessing, TVS transducers/probe disinfection, quaternary ammonium compounds, isopropyl alcohol


Objectives. There are no standard infection control regulations in transvaginal ultrasound probe disinfection followed in the most prominent local public tertiary referral hospital. Likewise, no studies have evaluated the efficacy of the current method that uses an inexpensive multipurpose antiseptic spray solution. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of the current practice of manual disinfection of TVS probes and compare it with the performance of an acceptable manual reprocessing method.

Methods. A prospective, randomized, controlled study was carried out using a crossover, quasi-experimental design, collecting 119 total samples from the ultrasound transducers before (35 samples) and after disinfection with two manual reprocessing methods, either a locally manufactured multipurpose antiseptic spray (A-Septic® Multipurpose Antiseptic Spray) that is currently used for disinfection or Mikrozid Sensitive®, a ready to use impregnated wipes (42 samples each arm). Disinfection efficacy was evaluated based on microbial culture results.

Results. Before disinfection, bacterial growth was observed in 77.1% (27/35) of the probes. After disinfection, 80.95% (34/42) remained contaminated with the antiseptic spray and 21.43% (9/42) with the wipes. The cultures revealed many environmental and pathogenic bacterial isolates, including Burkholderia, Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter, Diphtheroids, and Pseudomonas.

Conclusions. The currently used method for disinfecting transvaginal transducers in the division is not adequate for decontamination and decreasing the risk of cross contamination among patients. The results call for aggressive disinfection measures and highlight the need to update local standards and formulate and institutionalize these recommendations.