Reprocessing probes for trans-oesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) probes is a major challenge. Over the past decade, there have been repeated reports of inadequate disinfection in the UK – resulting in crosscontamination1 and even death.2
TOE probes (also known as TEE probes in some other countries) are classified as “semi-critical” (as per the Spaulding Classification) as they are in contact with mucous membrane – thus requiring them to be systematically high level disinfected (HLD) between each patient. So, why has cross-contamination occurred? A possible cause might be linked to the different reprocessing methods still used today.
What are the existing methods for TOE probe reprocessing?
1. Manual reprocessing: Manual reprocessing is soaking then wipes. In the case of manual reprocessing procedures, correct reprocessing and traceability always depends on the person completing the task. Due t