C-Arm Maintenance: A Disinfectant Wipe-Down Is Not Enough

The work that C-Arms handle is messy. After a day's work, disinfecting them is usually necessary. Using a regular disinfectant to do this is usually enough to get rid of any blood spatter, traces of contrast dyes, urine and most of the dirt that a C-Arm usually comes in contact with. This is usually enough to make a C-Arm look clean. However, it is rarely enough.

Why? Because this wipe-down is only a skin-deep cleaning measure. While doing so will ensure that the external components of the C-arm are all nice and shiny, it will leave a behind-the-scenes mess unattended to. Inside the housing covers of the unit, a mixture of urine, blood, contrast dyes and other bodily fluids will be left untouched. And if this is left to continue, your C-Arm machine will turn into a rolling biohazard.

The following are some of the risks that a surface level approach to cleaning a C-Arm will expose you to.


Surface-level cleaning usually caters to the dirt that you can see. It gives bodily fluids, and other medical wastes, the opportunity to accumulate inside your unit. This forms an environment that is conducive for bacteria infestation.

This will increase the risks of infections. It will put your patients at risk. Your staff will also not be spared.


Continued dirt accumulation inside your machine will reduce the efficiency with which the machine operates. Moving it around will be difficult. This will increase the risk of accidents. Medical instruments, like syringes, sometimes slip into the unit's wheel wells. When moving the C-arm around, they can slip out of the unit. They can therefore also increase the risks of personal injuries. There is also the damage that infections can cause to the well-being of both your patients and employees.

Infections and accidents will expose you to personal injury suits. You will therefore have to deal with lawyers, something that will distract you from your practice. The fact that they cost a lot of money will also do your practice no good. All the headaches and expenses that come with litigation can end up crippling your practice.

While giving your unit a surface-level wipe with a hospital grade disinfectant is a necessary part of C-Arm maintenance, it is not enough. To minimize these risks, you have to make opening your unit's covers a habit.

Clean the inside of the covers with disinfectant. And while doing so, don't forget to get rid of the debris that may have accumulated in the unit's wheel wells. All this should be done in addition to making sure that your units gets a once-in-a-while preventative maintenance review by a C-Arm service engineer.

If a C-arm needs to be replaced but a new one would be too expensive, consider getting a refurbished C-arm from a company like Chicago C-Arms LLC. Some companies will also refurbish C-arms you currently own.