The Spaulding classification system1 classifies ultrasound probes that contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin, as semi-critical medical devices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) mandate high level disinfection (HLD) of such semi critical probes between patients.
HLD is necessary, even when a single use disposable cover is used routinely, due to the possible rupture or breeching of the cover which could lead to contamination of the probe.
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