Purpose: To evaluate the adequacy of ordinary antisepsis in ultrasound (US)-guided free-hand fine-needle puncture.
Materials and methods: Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (n = 573) were performed in 456 patients. No puncture attachments, sterile gloves, or drapes or covers were used. Before each procedure the transducer was cleaned with a solution of water and 70% alcohol. No needles were contaminated. Patients were monitored for 5 days to exclude sepsis. Subsequently, the patients underwent follow-up blood and laboratory testing, including testing for for hepatitis B and C markers and human immunodeficiency virus antibodies, every 3 months for 6 months. The operators underwent the same follow-up for the first 6 months and for an additional 6 months.
Results: No patient or operator presented with fever or sepsis or with negative viral or hepatitis markers that became positive during follow-up.
Conclusion: Use of this free-hand US-guided technique with ordinary antisepsis is safe for patients and operators, and it allows savings in time and the cost of materials.