Whether you are working in a hospital, veterinary clinic, or any of the other numerous facilities that use ultrasound machines, your equipment can get damaged. Unless there is a specific incident, such as a hard impact to your probe, your ultrasound will often get damaged slowly over time.
After a while, this wear and tear means that your ultrasound probe or transducer will need to be repaired. Damaged probes can be dangerous for your staff and the patients they treat and lead to inaccurate diagnoses.
It is best to seek professional repair services for your ultrasound probe when minor problems are present rather than waiting for a big issue to wreak havoc. It keeps your facility safe for everyone, patients and staff alike. As well as, keep your cost and downtime way down.
5 Signs Your Ultrasound Probe Needs Repair Or Service
1. Lines On the Screen
Black lines appearing on your ultrasound screen are not normal. When you see lines like this, it is often caused because one of the piezoelectric crystals stops sending or receiving signals. As soon as you start to see black lines on your ultrasound images, it is time to get it repaired. If the problems become more significant, it can be difficult to give accurate diagnoses.
2. Damaged Cable
You may look at a damaged cable and think it’s no big deal. Your iPhone charging cable is exposed and has a broken sheath, but it still charges your phone, right?
Cuts, tears, and damaged sheaths on any cable on your ultrasound imaging equipment need to be repaired quickly. These repairs are often very simple and can be done fast and at a low cost.
However, if you don’t get damaged cables serviced, there is the risk of the ultrasound breaking down. There is also the additional risk of electrocution to your staff if there are exposed cables.
3D and 4D ultrasound probes have soft shells. This can lead to problems with leakage. A quick way to tell if your ultrasound probe has a leaking problem is to face it downwards, turn the probe all the way up, and then turn the probe to face it upwards in one quick motion. If you see a wave, then the oil is leaking.
4. Patches of Light or Dark
Often referred to as dropout, this problem is when your probe starts to produce areas on your screen that are lighter or darker than they should be.
The cause is often that a lens has become detached. However, it could also be an electronic failure or a damaged cable. These problems all worsen over time, and it’s best to know what the problem is and get it serviced quickly to avoid an expensive repair down the line.
5. Membrane Cracks
Ultrasound probe membranes are soft. They are designed to be durable, but their need to be soft means that their durability only goes so far. Membrane cracks often appear in older probes that have not been serviced regularly. Wear and tear over time and prolonged use can start to cause damage and once it becomes apparent, it needs to be repaired. The good news about membrane cracks is that they are a simple, fast, and low-cost repair.
Maintenance Decreases the Hassles of Repair
Ultrasound repairs can be a pain. You have to send them out or get a technician to come and diagnose the issue and make the repair. Often when you have small issues like the ones listed above, you will keep putting a repair off. However, the longer you put it off, the greater the problem gets. In turn, this leads to longer service times and more costly repairs.
You should service your ultrasound equipment yearly. In the long run, it saves you time and money by having small issues fixed before they turn into big problems.
Learn more about our ultrasound maintenance packages here.