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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Concern over safety of commercial ultrasound scans


2 February, 2007  

Future parents’ desire to see images of their unborn children has led to commercial companies offering keepsake ultrasound (US) scans without medical supervision, or “boutique ultrasonography”.

Improvements in US technology have transformed antenatal scans from two-dimensional black and white images to 3D, 4D and even moving pictures of the unborn child.

Although companies say that US has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby, the FDA, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the French Academy of Medicine are among several official bodies that have reservations about such use of the technology. The FDA states that although there is no evidence of physical effects that can harm the fetus, experts agree that casual exposure to US, especially during pregnancy, should be avoided.