Ultrasound During Pregnancy

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Ultrasounds are most commonly known for their use in viewing and monitoring unborn fetuses. Obstetric ultrasounds were introduced in the late 1950’s and were first used during pregnancy to detect health issues, such as fetal abnormalities or ectopic pregnancies so that expectant parents could determine whether or not they should terminate their pregnancy. It was discovered by Alice Stewart an epidemiologist; that ultrasounds were safer than X-rays for imaging fetuses. This is why ultrasound is considered routine when physicians are monitoring their patients during pregnancy(science museum). Ultrasounds are now used on expecting mothers for multiple reasons, such as physicians being able to confirm pregnancy, the number of fetuses, due…show more content…
This lower cost allows more physicians access to these devices which means better healthcare for their patients. This allows physicians to give faster diagnosis because physicians can use ultrasound devices in their offices which saves time and money for their patients. Physicians can almost immediately diagnose a patient during an ultrasound procedure being done in their office because results are done in real time. This can lead to physicians giving faster treatment that could be life saving for a patient. These small, less expensive devices allow for physicians to have a device set up in every exam room so that patients do not have to move from room to room. In the past, physicians had to schedule their patients with another office or hospital to have an ultrasound done. This caused a delay in diagnosis and multiple appointments for the patient which included additional costs for going to another facility for the procedure and follow up appointments to get results. These ultrasound devices also give the physician and the patient a less costly option than scheduling an X-ray or MRI because these procedures can cost up to five times the cost of an ultrasound. Another advantage to ultrasound over X-rays or MRIs is that a patient does not have to be completely still while it is being performed. This can be extremely hard in some cases and for some patients, such as small children. Ultrasound also allows the patient to be put under stress so that the physician can watch what is happening to the patient’s body(blog.bkultrasound.com). A benefit of using ultrasound over X-ray is that it does not require ionizing radiation which can increase a patient’s risk of cancer. This risk is higher for children than it is for adults. MRI’s can also be a long and noisy procedure that patients with fears of claustrophobia cannot handle. They also can cause
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