Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Entertainment value to keepsake ultrasounds?

Ultrasound use on fetuses soars

Canadian guidelines state that a woman should only obtain an ultrasound for a specific medical reason. Not just as a matter of routine.

They're a matter of routine, now.

Women want their ultrasounds to see their babies. And while seeing the baby can be entertaining, I find the word "entertainment" trivializes the experience. Isn't there a better word? I'm not keen on "bonding" either-- the fetus isn't fully experiencing your presence.

Something smells about the issue of ultrasounds. Health Canada advises against keepsake ultrasounds, but they're very routine. I had seven in my last pregnancy (many for specific medical reasons). During the routine 20-week "check" I had to come back because the sonographer couldn't get an image of my baby's heart.

If ultrasounds are so bad, why are they being recommended left and right?

If they aren't so bad, why is Health Canada advising against them?

"When you hear about crowded emergency rooms and cancelled surgeries, there are a lot of other things in the medical system that need attending to.

A suggestion: give one routine ultrasound free, make patients pay for the rest? That might discourage "frivolous" ultrasounds.