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Loud and Clear: Ultrasonic Cleaners Control Infections in Audiology Equipment

With millions of children going back to school in August, parents must make several errands to prepare their youngsters for the upcoming school year. One of those trips should be to the audiologist to get the child's hearing checked. Audiologists conduct hearing tests and ear exams on students to determine the extent of any hearing loss, as well as how to treat children with hearing problems at specific frequencies. In order to keep their equipment in excellent condition and to avoid cross-contamination among patients, audiologists typically clean their equipment with an ultrasonic cleaner.

Audiology Equipment Needs

audiology equipment

Some components of audiology equipment come into direct contact with tissues and fluids inside the ear. These can include blood, ear drainage, mucous and cerumen (ear wax). When a component comes into contact with these substances, it must be cleaned thoroughly before it can be administered to another patient to prevent cross-contamination. Since many younger students experience ear infections on a regular basis, the prevention of cross-contamination is crucial to maintain the health of the entire student population.

How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works

An ultrasonic cleaner uses an electrical generator and transducers that convert the electrical energy into high frequency sound waves. The transducers are attached to a stainless steel tank, usually filled with aqueous solution, and produce millions of tiny bubbles. These bubbles can reach into crevices and channels in the audiology equipment that conventional hand tools cannot access. When the bubbles impact against the surface, they implode and release massive amounts of energy in a process known as “cavitation”. The cavitation effect breaks the bonds between the surface and the contaminants.

Ultrasonic Cleaners and Audiology Equipment

The American Academy of Audiology advises the use of ultrasonic cleaners as part of the cleaning and maintenance processes for audiology equipment. The Speech and Hearing Clinic at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, recommends to its workers to employ an ultrasonic cleaner on the specula and tips used to inspect the inner ear canal. The US Navy's Department of Public Health also specifies that lab workers use an ultrasonic cleaner to prevent cross-contamination in critical equipment, such as ear lights and probe ear tips.

Benefits of Ultrasonic Cleaners

One of the primary benefits of ultrasonic cleaners lies in how quickly and efficiently they can clean intricate instruments. The microscopic bubbles can penetrate into hard to reach surfaces, yet the cavitation action does not damage the surface, prolonging the life of the equipment. The ultrasonic cleaner also produces less waste than conventional cleaning methods and is much safer for both the user and the environment.

Just as with other sensitive medical equipment, audiology testing instruments must be kept working at their peak in order to insure patient health. These sensitive devices must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid cross contamination. A powerful yet gentle countertop ultrasonic cleaner, such as this ultrasonic bath, can accomplish both these tasks and save time, money and labor.

Elma Ultrasonic bath X-tra Basic 2500

For more information on finding an ultrasonic cleaner that meets your needs, contact the experts at iultrasonic at 973-821-3406.


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