NHSScotland Risk Based Recommendations for the Decontamination of Semi-Invasive Ultrasound Probes: Risk of infection following semi-invasive ultrasound procedures in Scotland, 2010 to 2016

Publication Date: 26 October 2017

An evaluation was undertaken on the risk of infection associated with semi-invasive ultrasound probe (SIUP) procedures including transoesophageal endocardiography (TOE), transvaginal (TV) and transrectal (TR) ultrasound probes prior to the development of NHSScotland guidance in April 2016 recommending high-level disinfection of SIUPs.

An analysis was undertaken using microbiological reports and community antibiotic prescriptions as proxy measures. Patient records from the NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) Electronic Communication of Surveillance in Scotland (ECOSS) and the NSS Prescribing Information System (PIS) were linked with the NSS Scottish Morbidity Record (SMR) for all eligible cases between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2016. Three cohorts were created to include inpatients/day-cases and outpatients in the following specialties: Cardiology, Gynaecology and Urology.

The Analysis of the linked data demonstrated a greater risk of positive microbiological reports and community antibiotic prescriptions within 30 days for Scottish adults who had undergone SIUP procedures in Scotland. This indicates that, prior to the publication of NHSScotland guidance, advocating high-level disinfection, the re-use of SIUPs without high level disinfection posed an increased risk of infection.

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Health Protection Scotland
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