How To Easily Perform Sterile Ultrasound-Guided Injections 

A simple technique for singlehandedly performing sterile ultrasound-guided injections.
Ultrasound probe inside sterile glove
This technique involves fixing the transducer cable to your arm with a Velcro wrap and placing one hand holding the transducer inside a sterile glove with a lubricant. | Courtesy Dr. Beasley

Ultrasound is commonly used for precise needle insertion, yet certain procedures—such as arthrocentesis—require a sterile barrier between transducer and patient. There is no way to sterilize the transducer, however, without damaging the equipment.  

During a Burst Session at the 2023 AAEP Convention in San Diego, Brian Beasley, DVM, CJF, DACVSMR, clinical assistant professor at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, described a technique in which a single operator uses both hands to perform a sterile ultrasound-guided procedure. 

“This allows you to retain control of the transducer under sterile conditions, completely eliminating the need for an assistant,” he said.  

After prepping the horse, Beasley fixes the transducer cable to his forearm with a Velcro wrap to keep it out of his way. He then carefully places one hand holding the transducer inside a sterile glove with a generous serving of lubricant to eliminate the air layer between the transducer and the glove (you can use ultrasound gel or alcohol). He adjusts the lubricated transducer within the glove to an appropriate position and stretches the glove over the transducer. Using the gloved hand, he sterilely draws up the injectate before applying the other sterile glove. He then proceeds with the sterile injection. 

As a final tip, Beasley added, “You may need to go up half a glove size to accommodate the transducer.” 

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