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ULTRASOUND PROBE HEAD SAFETY APPARATUS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244575D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 84K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An apparatus for preventing damage to an ultrasound probe that may be caused due to unintended drop by a user during scanning and movement is disclosed. The apparatus is attached externally onto the ultrasound probe such that there is no modification to an existing probe design. The apparatus has a self retracting mechanism, wherein the apparatus retracts into a protection mode when the probe falls from the hand of the user. During scanning, the user flips the flap from a resting position such that the flap aligns parallel to the body of the probe. In such a position, a protector ring is pulled down and probe lens is exposed for scanning. In case the probe drops from the hand of the user, the flap is released on both sides of the probe and a spring action brings the flap and, consequently the protector ring into the protection mode.

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ULTRASOUND PROBE HEAD SAFETY APPARATUS

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to an ultrasound probe and more particularly to an apparatus for preventing damage to an ultrasound probe that may be caused due to unintended drop by a user.

An ultrasound probe is susceptible to damages due to unintended drop or slip from the hand of a user while the probe is being used and moved during a scan.

Generally an ultrasound probe includes a housing and a scan head disposed within the housing. The scan head comprises a transducer array. The ultrasound probe further includes an axle coupled to the scan head, thereby allowing rotation of the scan head. A conventional technique includes shock absorbing member disposed within the scan head. The shock absorbing member is coupled to the transducer array and the axle and is configured to allow relative movement between the axle and the transducer array. However, assembling the shock absorbing member inside the probe requires changing the design of the probe.

It would be desirable to have an apparatus to prevent damage to an ultrasound probe without changing the design of the ultrasound probe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 depicts an ultrasound probe with a self retracting apparatus having a flipped flap on either side of the probe.

Figure 2 depicts the ultrasound probe with the self retracting apparatus having released flap on either side of the probe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An apparatus for preventing damage to an ultrasound probe that may be caused due to unintended drop by a user is disclosed. The apparatus is attached externally onto the ultrasound probe such that there is no modification to an existing probe design. The apparatus has a self retracting mechanism, wherein the apparatus retracts into a protection mode when the probe falls from the hand of the user. The mechanical apparatus comprises a protector, flaps, a hook, springs on either ends of the protector and a spring on the flap. The flap is attached to either side of the probe to control movement of the protector. The hook is attached to the flap and the protector.

Figure 1 depicts the ultrasound probe with the self retracting apparatus having the flipped flap on either side of the probe. In a resting position, the apparatus is in protecting mode. During scanning, the user flips the flap from a resting position such that the flap is aligned parallel to the body of the probe. In such a position, a protector ring is pulled down and probe lens is expo...