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So, apparently one needs to organize a petition that can collect 100,000 signatures within a month to get attention at the Federal level. This seems like an arbitrary number, but challenge accepted, sir.
So, let's begin.
Right now ultrasound is not heavily regulated. Practitioners have complete judgment over how much ultrasound is safe. Yet, the ONLY scientific data available that practitioners can study to base safety calls on are inconclusive, obsolete, and questionably clinically relevant.. There is a central problem that, if addressed, will answer all issues surrounding this.
Today, sonographers do not collect detailed information about sonogram sessions. The only data available to scientists studying ultrasound's effects on the population are the number of scans performed. The number of scans is NOT an accurate representation of dose.
To explain this: 2 mothers have 5 scans a piece. Mother A's scans each last 5 mins, totalling 25min exposure. Mother B's scans each last 60 mins, totalling 300min exposure. The epidemiologist only knows that both mothers received 5 scans -- thus, any potential consequences of ultrasound could NOT be determined by judgments based on number of scans alone.
Yet, a meta-analysis on the safety of ultrasound released by the World Health Organization makes this correlation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19291813). In their conclusion, they state- "According to the available evidence, exposure to diagnostic ultrasonography during pregnancy appears to be safe." Little do they mention that there is a near complete absence of evidence. This is misleading, and many people have become indignant about safety issues because of it.
There needs to be Federal or State intervention advocating that sonographers collect more detailed information about scan sessions. This includes duration and intensity amounts over time. US machines already estimate exposure risks in the form of Mechanical and Thermal indices on the display screen. These numbers could be easily recorded over the duration of a scan and uploaded to a database.
Accurate data collection, of course, would necessitate ultrasound machines be calibrated. Right now a huge number of ultrasound machines in practice are malfunctioning (http://ehjcimaging.oxfordjournals.org/content/1 0/3/389.full.pdf). There are currently no Federal or State requirements to keep them calibrated so businesses often opt to not do so. This means that even if a practitioner is trying to be conservative, because of common machine errors they may unknowingly expose a child to more ultrasound than they think is safe.
Requiring that machines be calibrated would promote STEM jobs for engineers and technicians because of how many ultrasound machines are currently in circulation.
All of you physicists looking for relevant work in your field should definitely support this.
All of you parents, practitioners, and scientists who believe in evidence-based care should support this.
Sign a petition that aims to fix this:
You can learn more about this issue from others.
Read the blog of internationally renowned baby-brainologist, Dr. MF Casanova -
Read the independent research website of engineer Mrs. Parrish Hirasaki -
Read the website of radiologist Dr. David A Toms (who does not believe ultrasound is harmful, but still is aware of these huge safety issues):
Stay tuned for updates to an upcoming YouTube channel. It'll be awesome, promise.
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