Is Prenatal Sonography Safe? Ep. 3: Sonographer Education

A survey in 2006 found that only 3.8% of sonographers could correctly explain the safety readout on an ultrasound machine. This is unacceptable.

Watch this video to learn more about shortcomings in sonographer education worldwide. This is important if you plan on having children any time soon.

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~40% of ultrasound units in use are defective. This is dangerous!

A few years ago, a 12 year old girl was admitted to a hospital for heart murmurs. A defective ultrasound transducer was used and they could not detect why the murmurs occurred. Repeating this procedure (nearly 2 years later) with a different machine showed dramatically different results.

This prompted a study in which 32 hospitals were censused for the efficacy of their ultrasound units. 39.8% of transducers were found defective.

Sonographers cannot tell when a transducer is defective intuitively, it just makes the picture worse. Oftentimes they will compensate by turning up the power to get a more clear image. Ob-Gyn ultrasound suffers the same problem, and this will expose our children to unnecessarily high intensities.

Watch the video to learn more –

Is Prenatal Sonography Safe? Ep.1: Shortcomings in Epidemiology

This video is a review of what science currently understands about the safety of prenatal ultrasonography.

The short version: medicine does not yet fully understand how ultrasound affects the body, and there has been little research into it. When a practitioner tells you that sonography is perfectly harmless/completely safe, that is not backed by scientific evidence.

Considering that almost every woman in the world gets an ultrasound (or more) during pregnancy, this is unacceptable.

Vaginal ultrasound is invasive- one woman sued, claiming it was like rape

Woman sues hospital, claiming vaginal ultrasound session was like rape

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/09/12/woman-sues-hospital-claiming-vaginal-ultrasound-felt-like-rape/

Transvaginal ultrasound is when a sonographer inserts an ultrasound transducer into a woman’s vagina for internal imaging. They can detect a variety of conditions, including but not limiting to cancers or other growths, fluid deposits, bone damage, . . . it is useful for many valid diagnostic reasons.

There are, however, some risks associated with having the transducer closer to the fetus: One study detected damage in microvilli extracted from fetuses exposed to transabdominal ultrasound, but not transvaginal for the same duration:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11776185

[Influence of sonographic examination on embryo villi during early pregnancy].
OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effects of sonographic examination on embryo villi during early pregnancy.
METHODS:
Eighty early pregnant women intended for artificial abortion were divided into 4 groups: group I served as control, the remaining 3 groups underwent pelvic sonographic examination transabdominally for 10 minutes (group II), transvaginally for 3 minutes (group III) or for 10 minutes (group IV) respectively. After 1 hour embryo villi were obtained through artificial abortion and examined by electronic microscopy, biochemical methods and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE).
RESULTS:
In group IV, but not group II, III, the embryo microvilli were found broken, lost and disarranged. The rough endoplasmic reticulum of trophoblasts expanded. Their malondial dehyde levels increased while the superoxide dismutase (SOD) decreased as compared with control (P < 0.01). There was no difference of SCE among these 4 groups.
CONCLUSION:
It is recommended that sonographic examination should be done through abdominal approach for shorter than 10 minutes during early stage of pregnancy.

Ultrasound induced sensations

Ultrasound induced sensations

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23226567

Around a decade and some change ago, SONY entertainment patented the use of ultrasound as a virtual reality inducer.  One would wear a helmet that sent ultrasonic waves through certain parts of the brain to illicit a certain emotion, or sensation.

Today, they are still studying how ultrasonic stimulation affects sensory input.  In the future, it is very likely that this stuff will be used for the treatment of various diseases and peripheral nervous disorders.  Excellent.  Medicine needs a boost like that.

Auditory Processing in Autism and Ultrasound-altered Hearing

Auditory Processing in Autism and Ultrasound-altered Hearing

I thought this correlation was concerning. While the ultrasound hearing study dismisses that ultrasound can cause damage to hearing as though it were nothing big, perhaps the improved hearing in infants is a red flag that ultrasound could be promoting auditory hypersensitivity.

This would not have to be a big thing — ASD is a gradient, right? So, children who were near threshhold would be tipped over, while it may possibly help infants with worse hearing. There’s two sides to every coin, and every tool can harm or heal.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763411002065
Abstract
For individuals with autism spectrum disorder or ‘ASD’ the ability to accurately process and interpret auditory information is often difficult. Here we review behavioural, neurophysiological and imaging literature pertaining to this field with the aim of providing a comprehensive account of auditory processing in ASD, and thus an effective tool to aid further research. Literature was sourced from peer-reviewed journals published over the last two decades which best represent research conducted in these areas. Findings show substantial evidence for atypical processing of auditory information in ASD at behavioural and neural levels. Abnormalities are diverse, ranging from atypical perception of various low-level perceptual features (i.e. pitch, loudness) to processing of more complex auditory information such as prosody. Trends across studies suggest auditory processing impairments in ASD are most likely to present during processing of complex auditory information and are more severe for speech than for non-speech stimuli. The interpretation of these findings with respect to various cognitive accounts of ASD is discussed and suggestions offered for further research.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23663515
OBJECTIVE:
Prenatal ultrasound exams have become increasingly frequent. Although no serious adverse effects are known, the public health implications would be enormous should adverse effects on auditory development be shown. This study looks to establish a possible correlation between hearing loss and increased prenatal ultrasound exposure.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our results show that there is no correlation between a higher level of prenatal ultrasound exposure and hearing loss. Indeed, infants who had more prenatal ultrasounds in the third trimester were more likely to pass their screening hearing exams. The finding that children receiving more prenatal ultrasounds have a higher likelihood of passing newborn hearing screens serves as an excellent reminder of the classic statistics rule that correlation does not imply causation.

The rise in autism is very steep, and is getting steeper

The rise in autism -- the quietest apocalypse?

Autism began to exponentially grow circa the mid 1970’s. There are numerous reasons that caused this rise. Changes in diagnostic practices, awareness, and other ‘social factors’ have played a significant part.

There have been numerous scientific studies into this. Most all I have read claim that anywhere between 30-60% of the rise can be accounted for by social factors.

However, that still leaves a large portion of the rise up to an actual increase. How much of the rise is ‘real’ is uncertain to the scientific community, but I did some math this morning and came across something that really concerns me.

I put the data points in excel from the autism studies provided by the Center for Disease control.
The equation for the exponential growth curve is y=1E-106e^0.1193x with an R^2=0.9992
You can write this as (1*10^(-106))e^(.1193*x) in a scientific calculator
By plugging in the year where X is, you get how many kids have autism per year.

For example, the graph says that in 2001 it was reported 1 in 250 kids had autism
By plugging in 2001 where X is, we get 0.0047.
0.004 goes into 1 250 times, so that means 1 in 250 kids have autism in that year.

Let’s plug in other years and see what we get
2001: 0.004, or 1/250 kids
2005: 0.007, or 1 in 143 kids
2010: 0.013, or 1 in 77 kids
2020: 0.045, or 1 in 22 kids
2030: 0.150, or 1 in 6 kids
2040: 0.495, or 1 in 2 kids
2050: 1.633, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 1.633 autistic
2060: 5.386, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 5.386 autistic
2070: 17.76, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 17.76 autistic
2080: 58.55, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 58.55 autistic
2090: 193.05, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 193.05 autistic
2100: 636.49, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 636.49 autistic

How much of this is real? The increase is going up so fast. Something has to give, and soon.

In a worst case scenario – if these numbers arn’t lying – then in a matter of a single generation our species will change dramatically.

Since some of the side effects of ultrasound exposure are likened to symptoms seen in autism, is it possible that ultrasound could be a contributor?  There have been multiple studies bringing this up.