A Warning About The Overuse Of Ultrasound During Pregnancy

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While it is true that ultrasound is far safer for both mother and baby than X-Rays, ultrasound should only be used when absolutely necessary. There is a fad in some parts of the country where ultrasound is used indiscriminately, almost for entertainment. Ultrasound can be very dangerous to a fetus. The FDA has issued a warning about the overuse of ultrasound.

“Evidence suggesting that ultrasound scans on pregnant women cause brain damage in their unborn babies has been uncovered by scientists. In the most comprehensive study yet on the effect of the scanning, doctors have found that men born to mothers who underwent scanning were more likely to show signs of subtle brain damage. The implications of the study are to be raised at an international meeting of scientists being held this week in Edinburgh.

“There have been calls for urgent further research. During the 1990s, a number of studies hinted that ultrasound scanning affected unborn babies. Research has suggested that subtle brain damage can cause people who ought genetically to be right-handed to become left-handed. In addition, these people face a higher risk of conditions ranging from learning difficulties to epilepsy.

“Now a team of Swedish scientists has confirmed the earlier reports on the effects of ultrasound with the most compelling evidence yet that unborn babies are affected by the scanning. They compared almost 7,000 men whose mothers underwent scanning in the 1970s with 170,000 men whose mothers did not, looking for differences in the rates of left- and right-handedness. The team found that men whose mothers had scans were significantly more likely to be left-handed than normal, pointing to a higher rate of brain damage while in the womb. Crucially, the biggest difference was found among those born after 1975, when doctors introduced a second scan later in pregnancy. Such men were 32 per cent more likely to be left-handed than those in the control group.

“Reporting their findings in the journal Epidemiology, the researchers warned that scans in late pregnancy were now routine in many countries. "The present results suggest a 30 per cent increase in risk of left-handedness among boys pre-natally exposed to ultrasound," they say. "If this association reflects brain injury, this means as many as one in 50 male foetuses pre-natally exposed to ultrasound are affected." –www.consumercide.com

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