Although ultrasound machines generally considered safe, painless and non-invasive tools, there are still several concerns looming about the true security of undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic testing. People are generally worried about the effects of radiation and the other side effects and negative possibilities that may be done on infants during sonograms. Knowing the threats and potential dangers will help you stay well and healthy for long.
The Potential Threats
There are generally two dangers that can occur with the procedure. The first is heat development wherein water and tissues absorb ultrasound energy, thereby boosting overall temperature. The total heat amount should be controlled properly so that it cannot cause damage. The second danger is the formation of bubbles or cavitation, wherein dissolved gases are released from the solution because of the heat generated by ultrasound. Air bubbles in the body can be very dangerous, especially if these flow through the bloodstream.
Women are usually cautioned about the potential threats of elevating temperature in the uterus during ultrasound. The fetus cannot regulate its own body temperature, so amniotic fluid can reach very high temperatures over long periods. This can lead to neurological and cellular damage. Ultrasounds can raise the temperature of amniotic fluid. According to studies, fetal brain damage can result. Long ultrasound sessions will lead to higher amniotic fluid temperature.
About Sound Waves
High frequency sound waves are also another perceived danger during ultrasound. These can be loud inside the uterus. Babies can actually receive the sound similar to a subway train. The frequency can be very potent to developing ears and cells. Commercial companies are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus. Limit this accordingly.
It is very important that you rely only on the most capable professionals to handle ultrasound equipment. Generally, the threats and effects can be reduced significantly. Dangers of ultrasound is a fact, but when handled professionally, can be controlled very well so that the benefits far outweigh the risks. As the parent, you should learn how to limit the total time so that your baby will not be exposed as much.
To ensure safety, you need to follow a few simple guidelines. You have to remove your clothes where it is covering the area of interest. You will be draped to avoid exposure of other areas. Oil-based jelly will be applied on your skin to prevent air between the probe and your skin and aid in generating sound waves into the body. The probe should be covered with a plastic cover. The probe may be inserted depending on the type of test being done.
Change positions carefully to better provide the desired images. You will be given a towel to clean up afterwards. You may proceed to regular activities like driving, cooking, doing house chores and eating. Pregnant women should minimize on strenuous activities, should they undergo ultrasound testing or not. Before you head to the ultrasound machine, make sure you have an empty stomach or full bladder first to provide the most accurate results.
If the results are not clear or you fail to follow guidelines, the test may be postponed. Repeating the procedure will extra expenses for you.