I’ve been a working sonographer since 2006 and few things surprise me anymore. Today I decided to do a little research on disinfection of transvaginal probe because we recently replaced our Cidex with a Trophon unit. I didn’t think too much about the Cidex method because it is what every hospital & clinic I have ever worked in has used. The guidelines are specific regarding how to handle the Cidex. The most common one I’ve used has been Cidex OPA. The probe must soak in the solution for at least 12 minutes to be considered disinfected. The Cidex OPA must also be maintained at a minimum temp of 68 F. Despite our best efforts utilizing disposable probe covers & soaking the probe in Cidex there is still a chance the probe wasn’t as sanitary as it could have been. Cidex will not kill HPV. Do you suddenly feel sick? I know I do! In one study it was found that 3.5% of the transvaginal probes, despite having been treated appropriately with Cidex and covered with probe covers, tested positive for HPV.
After reading many peer reviewed, scientific studies, I learned that the Trophon does kill HPV unlike the Cidex. I wasn’t available during the sales talk when my facility purchased the Trophon. I was only told that it would be more cost effective than Cidex in the long run & environmentally friendly. I’m not sure how much we were spending on Cidex but doing a search online tells me that the Trophon unit is around $10,000 (9K-13K range). The price tag might be a deterrent for smaller clinics but I do believe in this product. They had me sold at environmentally responsible. I always felt a little weird about using the Glute-out to neutralize the Cidex and then dumping it down the toilet. Years ago I checked into this practice and learned it really was the standard of practice with Cidex amongst many facilities.
Here’s our new Trophon:
It really is the size of a mini fridge. The way it works reminds me of an autoclave. For that reason I’m surprised they haven’t been around for more than a couple years given that autoclave technology has been around forever. However, this is a little more technical than your standard autoclave because it uses a high frequency ultrasonic energyy to nebulise a stable hydrogen peroxide solution. The device will concentrate the droplets further before passing them into the closed chamber which will contain the ultrasound probe. The hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria and inactivate viruses by damaging cell walls, internal proteins and genetic materials that remained on the probe. This process takes 7 minutes!!! I thought 12 minutes was pretty good but 7 minutes is pretty amazing! All the techs I’m working with currently love this machine.