I know I know, this is a big statement but hear me out. The ultrasound probe is the device that makes contact with human tissue and is responsible for emitting and receiving the returned echo. This sound wave is then turned into the ultrasound image you see on the screen. If you have a faulty probe, i.e the echo is being impacted during the emitting and receiving phase, this will drastically impact the image quality you see on the machine and will ultimately make it harder to give an accurate diagnosis.
The machine, on the other side interprets the data received from the ultrasound probe and does its best to make something useful from it. The machine can even reduce the effects of dropout by averaging the echoes on both sides of the affected area to give an estimate as to what the image should look like in the affected area, but that’s just it, it’s an estimate and whilst it does a good job, you only need to miss something small in size for it to have a large impact on the patient.
Whilst maintaining the machine is very important, it’s the ultrasound probes that are subjected to the most use and abuse with the potential for probes to be dropped, scuffed, scratched, cut, runover, soaked, as well as being in contact with patients, they can pose as electrical and biological hazards. The list of potential causes for damage are by far greater than that of the machine and it’s for this reason that maintaining your ultrasound probes is more important