The strain relief is the critical piece of your ultrasound probe. You can easily damage this piece of ultrasound equipment due to rough handling and bending. Fortunately, there are several ways to repair the strain relief. The most important step is to be careful not to cause further damage by handling it improperly. This will lead to greater repair costs and possibly even irreparable symptoms. Follow these tips to repair the strain relief on your ultrasound probe and save yourself money.
Problems with the membrane
Despite its durability, the membrane of an ultrasound probe can develop cracks and other defects over time. Direct contact with a patient or the use of unsuitable disinfectants can damage the probe’s membrane, resulting in a lower quality image and possible cross-contamination. Regardless of the cause, problems with the membrane of an ultrasound probe need immediate diagnosis and repair. In addition, the damaged probe can cause misdiagnosis.
Another common problem is a connector failure. Ultrasound probe connectors are usually pinned or pin-less. Although these devices are designed to withstand wear and tear, they can still break. Common faults include broken pins, a locking shaft, a knob, and loose connections. In many cases, repairing a probe connector is the best option rather than a replacement. Here are some common reasons why ultrasound probe connectors fail.
The soft shell of an ultrasound probe is prone to damage over time. Damage to this membrane can result in a variety of problems, including artifacts in Doppler modes, dropouts, and system shutdown. Frayed wires may be too small to see during a scan, but you can check if a probe is experiencing leakage by turning the gain all the way up and holding it down for 30 seconds. When you’re looking for leakage, the image will be a wave or black due to the gravity. If the image is black and appears wavelike, you’ve found a leak. The good news is that repairing a leaky probe is relatively simple.
Another common problem is damage to the crystals in an ultrasound probe. In this case, the damage can be caused by dropping the ultrasound probe or hitting it against a foreign object. When these crystals become weak, they cannot transmit the pattern waves, which are essential for diagnosis. The black lines are not normal, and can be a warning sign of weak or dead piezoelectric elements. Although this doesn’t affect the diagnostic accuracy, it can impact the patient’s image.
Damage to the cable sheath
A damaged ultrasound probe can produce a series of problems, such as black lines, noise, or missing connections. In addition, damaged cable sheaths may harbor bacteria, making the image difficult to interpret. Additionally, damaged cable sheaths pose a safety risk, since the exposed metal in the probe can shock the tech. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to avoid damage to ultrasound probe cable sheaths.
One of the most common causes of cable sheath damage is bending or rough handling. A bent or distorted cable can lead to damage to the strain relief, which is crucial to the integrity of the ultrasound probe. If not repaired properly, the faulty probe can cause more serious problems and potentially even result in irreparable symptoms. Repairing cable sheath damage quickly can save a patient’s life.
Another common cause of ultrasound probe cable sheath damage is dropping or hitting the probe. This can cause elements to become weak or dead, leading to the appearance of black lines on the screen. These black lines are known as dropouts, and they can impact a diagnosis. If you experience these symptoms, it’s best to contact a professional repair service as soon as possible. A repair can save you time and money.
The cable sheaths on 3D and 4D ultrasound probes are prone to cracks and leaks. If there is leakage, it will be apparent by waves when you turn the probe. This could be an indication of leaking oil. As the cable sheath is generally made of plastic, repairing it is an easy task. It can be replaced in a relatively short amount of time.
Damage to the strain relief
A common problem with ultrasound probes is damage to the strain relief. This part is located at the connector where the probe attaches to the cable. A broken strain relief can cause your image to have noise, missing connections, or lines. The wires can wear out over time if they are piled up in a cart. Damage to the strain relief will also cause the wires to crack and break. The result of this will be a poor quality ultrasound image.
If you notice damage to the strain relief on your ultrasound probe, it’s probably time to repair it. If you have any doubts about its safety or effectiveness, consult a physician. This professional can repair your ultrasound probe and get you back in business. Once you’ve made the decision to repair your ultrasound probe, you’ll be on your way to performing quality ultrasound exams. Just make sure to follow the steps in the repair guide to avoid further damage.
One of the most common causes of damaged ultrasound probes is dropouts. This happens when the ultrasound probes cannot receive and transmit ultrasonic signals. A broken probe’s acoustic lens or cables will produce a shadow in the ultrasound image. Damaged cables and internal electronics may also cause dropouts and shadows. The specific cause of these problems will depend on the location of the damage.
A defect in the strain relief could also be caused by the probe itself. When the strain relief is damaged, the crystals may not be able to transmit ultrasound signals. If the dead elements are very noticeable, it’s probably due to the probe’s strain relief. In this case, you’ll need to replace the probe’s crystal. However, there are a few other problems that you can address yourself.
Damage to the connector
If you have ever damaged the connector on your ultrasound probe, you know just how frustrating it can be. Not only will it be difficult to connect the probe to your device, but it can also cause a whole host of other problems. For instance, damage to the connector can render your probe completely useless, preventing future connectivity with transducers. Not only will this create an inconvenient situation for you, but it could also cost you a lot of money in repair costs.
If you’ve ever dropped or knocked your ultrasound probe, you probably noticed that it has a faulty connector. You can tell when this happens because the connector pin may not have a proper alignment. It could also be caused by improper sterilisation agents, causing the acoustic array to swell. Damaged pins may also cause the transducer to produce shadowed or dropout images. The good news is that most damage to the connector is easily repaired – thereby saving you a significant amount of money.
While the most common cause of damaged probe connectors is a dropped object or a hit, a damaged pin in the system connector can cause a dropout. If the connector is damaged, you should try to identify the damage in order to repair it. Otherwise, you can try replacing the transducer. A replacement ultrasound probe will cost you a lot less than repairing a damaged probe. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can rent an ultrasound probe and schedule an ultrasound appointment when you need it.
The next problem that might affect your ultrasound probe connector is a broken seal. You can inspect this by lightly squeezing the probe. If it breaks, the seal will be broken. Thankfully, there are many ways to prolong the life of an ultrasound probe. Proper care is essential to the overall safety of the probe and your patient. So, take a few moments to consider how to take care of it so that it doesn’t have to break or stop working.
Cost of repair versus cost of replacement
While replacing an ultrasound probe is often the most expensive option, most repairs can save a facility a considerable amount of money. Often, a few defective crystals within the array can produce a drastic change in the results. If not addressed quickly, this defect can lead to inaccurate data, which could lead to an equivocal study or worse, unnecessary imaging tests. In addition, it could lead to cardiac catheterization, a more invasive procedure that would have been unnecessary.
However, some transducer repairs are inexpensive and easy to perform. If you have a transducer that needs repairs, an expert engineer will assess its condition and recommend repair or replacement. The cost of repair can vary depending on the type of transducer and the level of damage. If the transducer is beyond repairable, you may be able to delay replacing it until it is beyond repairable condition.
While a replacement of an ultrasound probe is an option, it is important to consider the overall cost before you make the decision. Reactive management costs more than just the repair. Standard probes can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000; more expensive, complex TEE probes can cost up to $7,000. Besides, it costs your facility an unnecessary service call, lost revenue, and staff and patient frustration. In addition, negative patient outcomes affect patient safety, which can double or triple your overall costs.
Ultrasound service contracts are expensive and largely ineffective for most users. Most users will only visit their OEM service technician for their annual service. Ultimately, you must replace your ultrasound probe every six years to make a service contract profitable. Furthermore, an average 2D probe repairs costs $1,500 AUD, while a replacement cost of $600 AUD. Therefore, it is best to opt for the repair option, if you have a refurbished ultrasound probe that you can’t use anymore.