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Guidance from the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology Safety Committee

The committee has released guidance on PPE and approaches for mitigating risks in relation to COVID-19 for ultrasound professionals and their patients.

Scientists from NPL in collaboration with other experts from the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) have compiled expert-opinion-based guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risks to those undertaking ultrasound examinations. In view of the challenges of the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, the experts have composed this guidance for ultrasound practitioners and allied professionals. The guidance is endorsed by companion organizations including the British Medical Ultrasound Society and the Society & College of Radiographers.

Several organisations, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE), have released technical reports on PPE in healthcare settings with patients suspected or confirmed with COVID-19. The ISUOG Safety Committee guidance focuses specifically on ultrasound examinations in obstetrics and gynaecology.

There are elements of performing ultrasound examinations that need to be carefully considered to reduce the potential for transmission, due to the proximity between patients and ultrasound operators. This guidance describes the steps that may be taken to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission whilst either undergoing or performing ultrasound scans.

The authors, several of whom work in those areas hardest hit by the virus including China, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Italy, have synthesized what are believed to represent the most effective interventions for reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from patients to healthcare staff.

The full ISOUG Safety Committee Position Statement can be read here.

Guidance in relation to PPE differs from country to country and region to region, it is recommended to follow local guidance where possible; where none exists specific to ultrasound examinations the ISUOG guidance may be referenced.

30 Apr 2020