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With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in unprecedented times - our clinical environment is changing rapidly and may continue to do so in the future. Over the last decade there has been an increased support for the use of internal medicine point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) across the country and worldwide. While standard infection control guidelines are available on device and tranducer cleaning and disinfection, these recommendations may not apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we anticipate that the experience and need for POCUS deployment will differ across the country depending on several contextual factors, similar principles will likely emerge across multiple settings. To that end, to enable POCUS readiness, we recommend that each program/ practice site consider undertaking the following steps and recommendations on a semi-urgent basis if POCUS use is anticipated.
The objective of this article to provide internists who currently use POCUS with the interim recommendations on processes that need to be in place prior to its use. This document refers primarily to the non-critical use of ultrasound devices based on the Spaulding classification6 (see Appendix for definitions) and does not apply to the setting of critical use where sterilization is required, nor semi-critical use, where high-level disinfection is required. Each institution must have its own policy in place on the cleaning and disinfection procedures for POCUS. This doucument is meant to serve as an adjunct to existing protocols.