Guidelines based on the Spaulding Classification help you determine the minimum disinfection for ultrasound probes to help keep patients safe.

An extensive range of guidelines are available in the United Kingdom and internationally to help ultrasound users determine the appropriate disinfection level required for ultrasound probes.

For all ultrasound probes that contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin, guidelines recommend high level disinfection (HLD) with demonstrated bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal and mycobactericidal efficacy.

Table 1. Guidelines from UK and Europe on ultrasound probe reprocessing. International guidelines are also listed that address HLD and ultrasound probe reprocessing.

Issuing Organisation

Name of Guideline/Standard


United Kingdom and Ireland

British Medical Ultrasound Society

Guidelines For Professional Ultrasound Practice


Health Facilities Scotland/Health Protection Scotland

NHSScotland Guidance for Decontamination of Semi-Critical Ultrasound Probes; Semi-invasive and Non-invasive Ultrasound Probes


Health Service Executive Ireland

HSE Guidance for Decontamination of Semi-critical Ultrasound Probes; Semi‐invasive and Non‐invasive Ultrasound Probes



European Society of Radiology

Infection prevention and control in ultrasound - best practice recommendations from the European Society of Radiology Ultrasound Working Group


European Committee for Medical Ultrasound Safety

Best Practice recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of ultrasound transducers whilst maintaining transducer integrity


Svensk Förening för Obstetrik och Gynekologi (Sweden)

SFOG råd angående transducerskydd och desinfektion av ultraljudsprober vid all gynekologisk och obstetrisk ultraljudsundersökning inom öppen och slutenvård


Hoge Gezondheidsraad / Conseil Supérieur de la Santé (Belgium)

Aanbevelingen inzake de infectiepreventie en het beheer van warmtegevoelige endocavitaire endoscpen en medische hulpmiddelen


Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé (France)

Proposition technique du groupe de travail national. Prevention du risque infectieux associe aux actes d'echographie endocavitaire: 28


Werkgroep Infectie Preventie (Netherlands)

Reiniging, desinfectie en sterilisatie van medische hulpmiddelen voor hergebruik niet-kritisch, semi-kritisch of kritisch gebruik: 56


Stuurgroep Flexibele Endoscopen Reiniging en Desinfectie (Netherlands)

Kwaliteitshandboek Reiniging en Desinfectie Flexibele Endoscopen: 118


Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention (Germany)

Anforderungen an die Hygiene bei der Aufbereitung von Medizinprodukten. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz: 66


Direzione Sanitaria AUSL Pescara (Italy)

Linee Guida per la “Corretta gestione di Procedure Assistenziali e Igienico-Sanitarie in Setting di Cura Ospedalieri e Territoriali”: 88


Australia & New Zealand

Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control/Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine

Guidelines for Reprocessing Ultrasound Transducers


College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM)

Prevention of pathogen transmission during ultrasound use in the Intensive Care Unit: Recommendations from the College of Intensive Care Medicine Ultrasound Special Interest Group (USIG). Date accessed: 14th of May 2020


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare. Canberra, Australia: NHMRC; 2019


Standards Australia (AS), Standards New Zealand (NZS)

AS/NZS 4187:2014 Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of associated environments in health care facilities 2015


Standards Australia (AS), Standards New Zealand (NZS)

AS/NZS 4815:2006 Office-based health care facilities - Reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment. 2006



World Federation for Hospital Sterilisation Sciences

Guideline for Reusable Medical Devices


World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology

Guidelines for Cleaning Transvaginal Ultrasound Transducers Between Patients


United States

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 


Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

Marketing Clearance of Diagnostic Ultrasound Systems and Transducers


American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)

ST58:2013 Chemical sterilization and high-level disinfection in health care facilities


Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS)

Guidelines for infection prevention and control in sonography: reprocessing the ultrasound transducer


American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)

Guidelines for Cleaning and Preparing External- and Internal-Use Ultrasound Transducers and Equipment Between Patients as well as Safe Handling and Use of Ultrasound Coupling Gel



CSA Group

CAN/CSA-Z314-18 Canadian medical device reprocessing