Stop using ultrasound to determine sex of fetuses, urge doctors, radiologists

Stop using ultrasound to determine sex of fetuses, urge doctors, radiologists

“Canada’s pregnancy specialists and the nation’s radiologists are calling for a halt on using ultrasound for the sole purpose of determining the sex of an unborn fetus.

In a new joint policy statement, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists also say it could be considered unethical for private, commercial clinics to offer “entertainment” ultrasounds purely for the purpose of creating “keepsake” videos for expectant parents.

The position statement comes amid mounting concerns that in Canada, people are using ultrasound to determine the sex of a fetus early in pregnancy and to have it aborted if it is a girl.”

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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.

Prenatal sonography – the urgent need for more research and better regulation

Prenatal sonography – the urgent need for more research and better regulation

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Despite ultrasound being utilized in nearly every modern pregnancy, its safety is highly questionable.  Many parents are told that ultrasound is completely safe, but this is not science fact.  The unfortunate truth is that no sonographer or doctor knows what ultrasound exposure will do to your baby — they can’t, no scientist fully understands yet.

This petition was written as an attempt to raise awareness of this issue and to gather people together.  Shortcomings in safety regulation are just one part of a greater combination of problems with obstetrical care.  It seems like women are losing control of their pregnancies more and more, and money seems to lead modern practice more than conservative methods to ensure patient safety.  Practitioners receive more pay in exchange for encouraging patients to receive more treatments than absolutely necessary.

Today was a landmark day for our petition.  We raised nearing 500 signatures in a single day.  Thank you, everybody.  If you have not, please sign and share:

https://www.change.org/petitions/health-risks-of-prenatal-ultrasound-the-urgent-need-for-more-research-and-regulation

(Un)safety assurances for fetal sonography

(Un)safety assurances for fetal sonography

This article discusses why doctors think that ultrasound is safe to use for fetal imaging.

Key points –

1. In 1992, the intensity of ultrasound was increased dramatically without any subsequent follow up research.  Thus, modern assurances of safety are based on obsolete, inconclusive, and disorganized information.

2. The Output Display Standard are numbers on an ultrasound monitor that practitioners read to guestimate relative risks.  It is not very accurate.

3. How safe a session is depends on the skill of the practitioner.  Sonographers with more training are less likely to hold the ultrasound beam in one place for long, and maybe the really good ones will know important and delicate areas to keep it away from.  In reality, many untrained personnel (nurses or lay-people) perform sonograms so this is not the case always.

Please be careful with the amount of ultrasound you expose your child to.  Less is better, and we don’t know what it does yet.

AIMS questions the safety of prenatal ultrasound

AIMS questions the safety of prenatal ultrasound

This website was prepared in 2000, citing many of the safety issues regarding prenatal ultrasound that are still present today.

A combination of misleading information, state and federal regulations not touching the matter, and that ultrasound side effects are an esoteric field of study which leads to this problem.

Unknowing parents love seeing their children, and unknowing practitioners do not have conclusive evidence that profiteering can cause harm.  Not that all practitioners put money before safety, but many do in the case of fetal sonography.  Some practitioners go so far as to intimidate people into getting more ultrasounds, which goes against the notion of informed consent.

One person who signed the petition at https://www.change.org/petitions/health-risks-of-prenatal-ultrasound-the-urgent-need-for-more-research-and-regulation left in the comments, “I have two children, and although my pregnancies were both high risk for various reasons (generally my health during pregnancy), I feel that the number of ultrasounds scheduled was excessive.  I probably had close to 10 in my first pregnancy, and had at least two per week for the last two months of my second pregnancy.  Scare tactics were used by my doctor any time I questioned the need for so many, including the claim that he needed to be “prepared” in case my babies were born with conditions that required immediate treatment.  They were not.  I genuinely believe that some OB’s see high risk pregnancies as a cash cow.  Certainly mine did.”

Have you heard of www.ultrasound-autism.org?

Have you heard of www.ultrasound-autism.org?

Independent researcher, Duke alumni, and career engineer Mrs. Parrish Hirasaki has been investigating the connection between ultrasound and the rise in autism for years, now.

Her website is meticulously organized, very readable, and clearly presents scientific evidence supporting the possibility that ultrasound could be linked to negative health effects.

Because epidemiology is untenable, this is possible.  More research is needed.

Ultrasound safety studies questionable

Ultrasound safety studies questionable

According to a meta-analysis released by the World Health Organization, no obvious detriment to health in the population has been found over 60~ studies.  In each study, they compare the number of ultrasound scans performed versus a control and compare health outcomes.

Problem: The number of scans is not an accurate representation of dose.

5 scans for 5 minutes each, and 5 scans for 30 minutes each are going to have a dramatically different duration of ultrasound exposure, but they each are 5 scans.  There are many other variables involved for proper risk assessment.  A single scan for an hour is more duration than 5 scans for 5 minutes a piece.

This means that these papers are basing their assurance of safety on a fundamentally fallacious argument.  Without more accurate dose recording, epidemiology is untenable.

We do not know if ultrasound is safe yet.  It could be causing problems in the population and – because of this issue – be pretty much completely undetectable. That is why there are concerns out there that ultrasound could possibly be linked to autism.  Other information is pointing towards it, and epidemiology offers little reassurance.

It further compounds the problem that papers like this assure safety because of a lack of evidence rather than evidence to the contrary…

Please sign and share this petition to call attention to this issue: http://www.change.org/petitions/health-risks-of-prenatal-ultrasound-the-urgent-need-for-more-research-and-regulation