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News & Press: Association News

AVA Publishes Guidance for Practical Ultrasound Probe Disinfection Between Patients and Procedures

Tuesday, June 19, 2018  
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The Association for Vascular Access Publishes Guidance for Ultrasound Probe Disinfection Between Patients and Procedures


June 19, 2018 – Use of real-time ultrasound guidance for vascular access (USGVA) procedures is recommended by multiple organizations, standards and guidelines to reduce complications and attempts to gain vascular access. However, when it comes to the level of disinfection a transducer must undergo between patients and procedures, conflicting guidelines have resulted in inconsistent practice and confusion.


In a move to standardize USGVA disinfection practices, advance patient safety and end this confusion, today the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) published Transducer Disinfection for Assessment and Insertion of Peripheral and Central Catheters for Vascular Access Teams and Clinicians.


The document, co-authored by AVA Director of Clinical Education Judy Thompson, MSN, RN, VA-BC™ and J. Hudson Garrett Jr., PhD, FNP-BC, IP-BC™, VA-BC™, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine for the University of Louisville School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, combines real-world implications with a comprehensive search of the published literature to make the case for preserving the USGVA mandate while ensuring patient safety and avoiding negative consequences.


“Vascular Access Device (VAD) insertion is the most common invasive procedure in all of healthcare,” Thompson said. “Use of USGVA increases patient safety and is directly aligned with successful insertion, patient satisfaction and cost reduction - it should be used in every instance, which means those transducers must be disinfected between each procedure and patient.”


Thompson and Garrett conducted a comprehensive literature search and found guidance for ultrasound probe disinfection ranging from High-Level Disinfection (HLD) to Low-Level Disinfection (LLD) which is both confusing and could lead to ultrasound not being used for VAD insertions.


“This guidance document provides practical infection control recommendations and a simplified product evaluation checklist that will assist vascular access clinicians with keeping patients and ultrasound equipment safe,” Garrett said. “It is intended to ensure USGVA for all procedures, protect patients, reduce risk with healthcare’s most common invasive procedure - and remove unnecessary cost from healthcare delivery.”


Thompson and Garrett will be producing a continuing education Webinar to further understanding of the guidance, which will also be discussed extensively during upcoming episodes of the ISAVE That Podcast produced by AVA.


“We want to ensure that clinicians clearly understand what the guidance is, why the recommendations were created this way and how to implement into healthcare,” Thompson said. “We are confident this will have a significant and positive impact on both VAD insertion and infection prevention.”


For a deeper discussion on this perspective of the reprocessing of Ultrasound Devices, please join a free webinar titled "Making Sense of Reprocessing of Ultrasound Devices: A Vascular Access and Infection Prevention Perspective" at 1 p.m. ET on June 29, 2018. 1 CE available. REGISTER

The Association for Vascular Access (AVA) was founded in 1985 to promote the emerging vascular access specialty. Today, AVA stands at the forefront of protecting and saving lives via establishing best practices and promoting patient advocacy.  AVA’s multidisciplinary membership advances research, provides professional and public education to shape practice and enhance patient outcomes, and partners with the device manufacturing community to bring about evidence-based innovations in vascular access. To learn more or join, visit