06/01/15 5:30 a.m.
For parents expecting a baby, ultrasounds are an exciting part of the process. Seeing one’s child before they’re born is a bonding experience. However, parents are being warned that ultrasounds for the sake of seeing the baby may not be safe.
Audio: Susan Perry
Susan Perry is the director of the sonography program at the University of Findlay. She said they’re starting to see more and more kiosks pop up in malls offering ultrasounds. They can also be seen in flea markets or in a home-visit setup. Perry said while radiation isn’t used for those, specialists are concerned about the high energy levels affecting the baby.
Heather Duval-Foote is an instructor in the University of Findlay’s Diagnostic Services Department. She said these ultrasounds are giving parents a false sense of security.
Audio: Heather Duval-Foote
The FDA, Association Institute of Ultrasound Medicine and Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography have all make statements denouncing keepsake ultrasounds. Perry said there is no medical benefit, and ultrasounds should be treated just like other diagnostic treatments like MRIs, CT scans and x-rays.
Duval-Foote said parents will get pictures and video from physician-ordered ultrasounds, but this is an issue of wanting instant gratification and entitlement. Specialists are considered that too many ultrasounds may harm the baby. There is also the issue of the credentials of the person performing the ultrasound and the safety of their equipment.
Both Duval-Foote and Perry suggest asking the technician performing the ultrasound at these places: about their protocol, if they have credentials and how often their equipment is inspected and cleaned.
Click below to listen to our full interview.
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