3D/4D ultrasounds potentially harmful (please read first) babywait 1 child; California 410 posts
Feb 10th '07
Just wanted to put this information out there since these ultrasounds seem to be the topic of discussion frequently.

My doctor concurred with the following article. I was able to get a 3D/4D ultrasound because I was sent to a specialist to make sure there were no apparent genetic/birth defects.

I'm not judging here, I just want everyone to be informed of the potential risks. We still don't know what the long term effects are. If your doctor/provider doesn't want to give you more ultrasounds it may not just be because your insurance doesn't cover it. Ask your doctor/provider about it first.

AIUM rejects use of obstetric 3D ultrasound for entertainment
Prospective parents may consider fetal ultrasound portraits cute, but the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine sees potential dangers in the increasingly popular use of the modality.

In a Nov. 5 statement, the AIUM warned physicians and would-be imaging entrepreneurs that 2D and 3D obstetrical ultrasound should not be used to view, obtain pictures, or determine gender of a fetus without a medical prescription. The policy was announced in response to the proliferation of shopping mall 3D ultrasound services that specialize in fetal imaging. The announcement reiterated the position the AIUM first took in 1999.

The institute's main concern is that using ultrasound for entertainment purposes may have harmful biological repercussions, said Dr. Alfred B. Kurtz, AIUM president.

"Many pregnant women expect that their ultrasound examination will identify problems. Entertainment sonograms do not assess fetal well-being," he said.

The people who perform these commercial studies frequently lack the training to conduct complex and sophisticated 3D and 4D exams competently, according to Kurtz. Substandard studies could produce misleading imaging. Although no evidence exists of biological effects from ultrasound, such effects could be identified in the future, the AIUM's statement said.

The FDA announced this year that anyone administering ultrasound to healthcare consumers without a medical prescription may be breaking state or local law regarding the use of a prescription medical device. Officials of the agency urged physicians, sonographers, and healthcare consumers to notify the FDA of suspicious operations.

In its Nov. 5 statement, the AIUM announced it would report to the FDA individuals or companies that promote the use of ultrasound for entertainment.

"An entertainment sonogram is a misuse of ultrasound technology and should not be offered," Kurtz said.

-- By Harold Abella

Hope this helps!