Expecting parents cannot wait for that first glimpse of their new baby. They make predictions about eye color and hair type. The ultrasound image becomes the first portrait of the baby. Unfortunately, the clarity of a traditional ultrasound leaves much to the imagination. Countless fathers have pretended to see a foot or a hand, when they really see nothing but masses of black and white. In the age of 3D, those grainy and unclear pictures are transformed into 3D images, with unmistakable details.
The popularity of these 3D ultrasounds grew so quickly, that they moved from the doctor’s office into strip malls and boutiques. However, as tempting as these “keepsake ultrasounds” are, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents about their potential dangers, asserting that an instant keepsake can potentially lead to long term birth injuries.
The FDA’s Warning
In a consumer report, the FDA is recommending that expectant mothers steer clear of these keepsake imaging businesses. According to the agency, ultrasound imaging is not meant for over-the-counter use and should be closely monitored in a controlled environment. FDA Engineer Shahram Vaexy, Ph.D. is quoted in the article as stating, “Proper use of ultrasound equipment pursuant to a prescription ensures that a woman will receive professional care that contributes to her health and to the health of her fetus.”
The potential problem arises from the heat generated by the ultrasound device. The procedure can reportedly heat tissue inside the mother’s womb. Prolonged exposure to these elevated temperatures can reportedly cause damage to the central nervous system of the fetus. According to the FDA, another possible threat is a condition called cavitation, where small bubbles form in the developing cells.
Prolonged ultrasound exposure increases the risk of injury to the mother and fetus. According to the FDA, some businesses use the machine for almost an hour during each session in order while they look for suitable images and gather enough footage for the keepsake video.
The Ultrasound Controversy
Ultrasounds are based in a concept that began many years ago. Ships at sea used sonar to identify the shape and distance of objects as they moved through the nearby waters. The ultrasound produces sound waves that move through the tissues of the womb. This movement creates echoes, which are analyzed by the ultrasound machine and transformed into an image.
For decades, medical professionals, midwives and government agents have disagreed about the safety of this procedure on the fetus, whether done in a doctor’s office or in the middle of a shopping mall. Proponents assert that, done correctly, ultrasounds cause little to no danger to the tissue of the womb of fetus. Opponents argue that heating the tissue is dangerous, even when done under general medical standards.
If you are considering a lawsuit for medical malpractice based in a birth injury, a capable attorney can guide you through the requirements of litigation. Contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.
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