Sonographer COVID-19 practice and safety advice
Updated as of 14 May 2020
Sonographers have an essential role, providing medical diagnostic ultrasound examinations for medical practitioners to diagnose and treat patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic it is essential that sonographers look after their health and wellbeing, as well as the health and wellbeing of patients and colleagues.
To assist you, below is professional guidance and other resources to support you to continue providing an essential service, while protecting your own health.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The shortage is dire and the governments highest priority is to ensure access to masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front line acute health service and primary care staff, being public hospitals, GPs and pharmacies, and residential aged care facilities which have an outbreak. The Australian government has advised that it is unable to directly supply private imaging practices with PPE at this time, however significant stocks of additional face masks have been secured and are due to arrive over the coming months. Practices are encouraged to source PPE through their usual channels and where possible minimise the use of PPE on a case-by-case basis. The ASA with a coalition of leading imaging bodies will continue to work closely with the government on this.
The letter to governments calls for all private and public clinical radiology departments and practices to have access to PPE throughout the pandemic.
- ASA Statement on the Australian Government response to PPE access
- The RANZCR COVID Taskforce has issued a statement about Interventional Radiology work and minimising the use of PPE
- ASA Position Statement: Return of diagnostic imaging services during COVID-19
Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Advice on the appropriate use of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic significantly references the World Health Organisation Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). New Zealand and Australia, and its states and territories, have produced information for health professionals in their local area regarding the use of PPE. This information can be found on the government links page, via the click through button on the right of this page.
Below is ultrasound and sonographer specific information for appropriate use of PPE.
Infection control and safe performance
Infection control training
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT: COVID-19 Infection Control Training (Released 19 March 2020)
Preparation and cleaning of ultrasound room
Preparation and cleaning of ultrasound equipment and transducers
Sonographers work in such close proximity to patients, and the challenge is very real and you are likely worried about your own health and fear that if you contract COVID-19 you may pass it on to others and your family. Therefore it is important for sonographers to be across what measures can be in place for your safety and the safety of your colleagues and patients.
Recommendations for changed arrangements during COVID-19 will vary depending on a sonographers area or practice and the workplace. Following are statements and information from ASA affiliate organisations and industry partners which contain recommendations regarding ultrasound examinations during the coronavirus pandemic.
These cover advice on scheduling appointments and performing ultrasound during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition they also cover delaying non-essential examinations. The ISUOG statements are also relevant to radiology practices.
- CSANZ: COVID-19 and acute heart failure: screening the critically ill (10 Apr 2020)
- ISUOG: Safety Committee Position Statement: safe performance of obstetric and gynecological scans and equipment cleaning in the context of COVID-19
Latest articles and webinars
An important series of ASA Lung Ultrasound webinars for the front line medical practitioner in the current COVID-19 climate has been released, including first hand experiences in the use of ultrasound in assessment of COVID-19 patients in China.
- ASA: Lung Webinar package
- ISUOG: How to perform lung ultrasound in pregnant women with suspected COVID-19 infection
- CSANZ: Statement on the Temporary Suspension of all Non-Urgent Elective Surgery (27 March 2020)
- Proposal for international standardisation of the use of lung ultrasound for COVID-19 patients; a simple, quantative, reproducible method
- Dutch radiologist designs a protective screen for use in ultrasound exams
- CSANZ: COVID-19 And Accute Heart Failure: Screening the Critically Ill (10 April)
For researchers and professionals working on COVID-19, Wiley has made more than 5,000 COVID-19-related articles freely available to provide rapid access to COVID-19 research and COVID-19-related articles.
- WILEY: Free access to 5000 COVID-19 related articles
- Researchers from Italy have created protocols for performing lung ultrasonography on patients with COVID-19
- COVID-19 patients can benefit from ob/gyn ultrasound tools
- Cochrane Library Coronavirus (COVID-19) Special Collection: Infection control and prevention measures
Affilliate organisations and information
If you require further information please email email@example.com