Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

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Grimork
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Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Grimork » Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:49 pm

History of Ultrasounds

As with all inventions, it’s good to know where the technology began. Here is the often unreported origin of ultrasounds as being used for medicine.
“Pierre Curie in 1880 described the piezo electric effect whereby mechanical distortion of ceramic crystals would produce an electric charge; the reverse of this effect is used in all transducers to generate ultrasonic waves. His pupil Paul Langevin in1915 built the first hydrophone which used ultrasonic waves to locate the position and distance of submarines and is the principle behind the measurement of the fetus and abdominal masses by ultrasound. The development of Radar by Watson-Watt and his team using electro-magnetic waves in 1943 was later adapted for ultrasound to produce two dimensional images.(1)”

The first actual 2D ultrasound machine, used on pregnant women for that purpose, is credited to Ian Donald, Tom Brown (engineer), along with an engineering company. Ian Donald was using his experience with radar that he had learned while he was in the Air Force. This was of course a more primitive machine compared to ultrasound technology today (2).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... 9-g002.jpg

Ultrasounds for Harm?

“The modern ultrasonics era arose from Professor Langevin's 1917 invention of the quartz sandwich transducer for underwater sound transmission in submarine detection. Intense ultrasound's physical effects had not gone unnoticed in the first decade of modern ultrasonics. Langevin's tests with quartz plate transducers had resulted in killing fish in the beam of sound. Professor Van Dyke had observed in 1924 the searing of skin when a resonant quartz bar was touched, the explosive atomization of water drops from the end of the rod and friction alleviation between a metal surface and the vibrating quartz. Nevertheless, no steps were taken to investigate these early observations more fully (3).”

Wood and Loomis in 1942 created a generator of focused ultrasound and proceeded to conduct experiments with it. They were able to create focal heating in paraffin blocks, also in beef liver, without much apparent damage to the surface tissues. Animals with high intensity were able to receive temporary behavioral disabilities (such as blindness and limited mobility) via damage to the brain, however they “recovered” in 2-16 hrs; with the limited technology at the time, this wasn’t possible without damage to the surrounding tissue near the cone of radiation. They assumed this would be able to be improved with future technology.
Image (4)

Beef Liver “cooked” by focused ultrasound.

Ultrasound Risks to the Fetus
Modern Ultrasounds are safer, right?
“Ultrasound equipment manufactured before 1978 demonstrated a wide variation in ultrasonic power and intensity.18In general, ultrasound intensity was greater in equipment manufactured after 1980 than before that year,19and this increase in intensity was directly correlated with more pronounced temperature rise during use of the device.12A comparison of ultrasound output of equipment manufactured between 1995–1999 confirmed this previously identified increase in ultrasound intensities.20It appears highly likely that this trend of greater ultrasound intensity will continue, and the clinician may therefore be confronted with potential adverse effects when using newer generation ultrasound equipment. The Output Display Standard currently is the only information required by the Food and Drug Administration to alert the clinical user of the potential of an ultrasound device to produce tissue injury. The Output Display Standard purposefully overestimates such possible adverse biologic effects by assuming a reasonable “worst case” scenario. The Output Display Standard assumes linear propagation of ultrasound within a uniform, modestly attenuating tissue and describes “thermal and mechanical” indices. Acoustic power is the primary determinant of thermal and mechanical indices, but the ultrasound mode, color Doppler blood flow imaging, area of interest, transmission frequency, pulse repetition frequency, and focal zone also affect thermal and mechanical indices (5)

Heat Damage
“As much as 70% of the total temperature increase associated with ultrasound occurs within the first minute of exposure,23but temperature does continue to rise as exposure time is prolonged.24,25A linear relationship between ultrasound intensities and temperature rise has been demonstrated.24,26The relative protein content of each tissue is also an important determinant of ultrasound absorption, and hence, temperature rise. Absorption coefficients of tissues are directly related to protein content, thereby providing a surrogate marker for potential increase in tissue temperature. Absorption coefficients vary between 1 (skin, tendon, spinal cord) and 10 (bone) dB/cm MHz (table 2). The greatest temperature increase resulting from ultrasound exposure occurs in bone because of its high absorption coefficient.27Indeed, a consistent tissue temperature rise in response to ultrasound exposure has been repeatedly demonstrated in vitro , in vivo , and in utero .24,26,–,28Not surprisingly, temperature also increases in tissues adjacent to bone.23,–,25,28The absorption coefficients of fetal bone are dependent on age-related changes in mineralization, density, and heat capacity, which correlate with a faster rate of temperature increase concomitant with fetal maturity(5).”

“If there is a repetitive sequence of pulses, as in most diagnostic applications, the tissue will be warmed as a result of the absorption of acoustic energy. The temperature rise
depends on the time-averaged acoustic intensity, the acoustic absorption coefficient, the
thermal properties of tissue (heat conduction and specific heat), tissue perfusion (blood
flow), beam size and scanning mode and the period of time the transducer is held in one
position. The tissue also experiences a small transient force in the direction of propagation each time a pulse passes. If the pulse passes through a liquid, it will move in the direction of the pulse propagation: a series of pulses will cause acoustic streaming(6).”

Effects of Heating the Fetus
“Temperature fundamentally affects biochemical, physiological and reproductive processes of all living organisms. Mild increases in temperature, of less than 1 °C, may simply slightly accelerate cellular processes with no overall detrimental eff ect. Excessive temperature increase can be lethal(Raaphorst et al., 1979; Dewey et al., 1977; Dewey, 1994). Moderate temperature increases may arrest or retard cell division (Mazza et al., 2004). The effects of a moderate rise above normal physiological temperature can have important consequences for developing embryos or foetuses, particularly if the central nervous system is involved. The actively dividing cells of the embryonic and foetal central nervous system are known to be highly susceptible to changes in temperature (Edwards, 1969b; Webster and Edwards, 1984; Shiota, 1982, 1988). Interference with neural tissue is likely to have significant consequences on growth and development(6).”

Regulation? Who’s keeping us safe?
“While maximum outputs have increased, the only effective regulatory body, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has relaxed the upper limit on intensity that can be applied in obstetric ultrasonography in the USA. Under this new scheme (AIUM/NEMA, 1992) equipment that incorporates an output display may deliver acoustic intensity to the embryo or foetus that is almost eight times higher than equipment regulated under the Previous application-specific scheme. The rationale for this change is that the responsibility is placed on the ultrasound diagnostician to make risk/benefit assessments, based on information provided by the equipment output display, and to decide on the appropriate examination exposure conditions for each operating condition (6).”
*************************************************************************

Do you trust a random ultrasound technician not to hurt your baby with this increasingly dangerous technology?

Sources & Further Reading

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987368/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... 8/#s3title
(3) https://www.ob-ultrasound.net/langevin.html
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... df/179.pdf
(5) https://pubs.asahq.org/anesthesiology/a ... Biological
(6) https://www.birpublications.org/pb/asse ... asound.pdf

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Thomas Cole
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Thomas Cole » Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:07 pm

Thanks for sharing! My wife became very skeptical about what is considered to be "standard" pre-natal care and ultrasounds when we were expecting our first one. She is pleased to find this topic addressed in such a considerate way.
I think we should increase our efforts to address questions of health and well-being in general. Not only is our society sick, it makes us sick, spiritually, but also physically. I would say 9/10th of what fill the shelves of a typical grocery store should be labeled straight out poisonous. The same goes for the clothes we are wearing, the houses we live and the beds we sleep in.
Affordable alternatives exist, but they are often hard to find. Sharing such alternatives and experiences is an important act of promoting racial well-being!

Richard_G_603
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Richard_G_603 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:40 pm

This was something that my wife and I talked about heavily when we were planning on having a baby and thankfully had settled on our choice by the time our little girl came to be.

While there is some good evidence of the dangers of ultrasounds, we personally felt that limiting it to two, one first trimester and one third trimester, minimized risks to the child, and gave us the benefits of it. We wanted to know/be prepared for possible defects/complications the baby might have like cleft palate, down syndrome, spinal conditions, and so on, as well a be able to get an accurate estimate of gestational age This was a necessity for us since we wanted to have the child at a birthing center and not a hospital, and the center requires evidence of a low risk birth for them to take you. Additionally our state says the baby must be at least 37 weeks or they cannot be delivered anywhere except a hospital without a social services investigation resulting, so it was VERY important for us to know.

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Grimork
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Grimork » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:27 pm

Richard_G_603 wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:40 pm
This was a necessity for us since we wanted to have the child at a birthing center and not a hospital, and the center requires evidence of a low risk birth for them to take you. Additionally our state says the baby must be at least 37 weeks or they cannot be delivered anywhere except a hospital without a social services investigation resulting, so it was VERY important for us to know.
Thank you, Richard. :) This post isn't to shame anyone that's gotten ultrasounds and there's a lot of times where there doesn't seem to be any ill effects. However the blanket claim that ultrasounds are safe as used by the medical industry is not true. As far as I've ascertained the biggest ultrasound risks to low benefit ratio is with the intravaginal ultrasounds (SUPER DANGEROUS, would not recommend) and also with the "heart doppler" wand ultrasounds, they can check your baby's heartbeat in other ways. Risk with little to no reward and they're way too happy to use that technology. The "heartbeat doppler" is interesting because it seems like the baby in utero is trying to get away from it! At least my babies did. I had ultrasounds with both my kids, unfortunately as I trusted the establishment and didn't know any better. So, not judging, just want to get the information out there, so we can make more informed choices. I wished someone had told me back then. Always minimizing risk I think is a good thing to our children.
Thomas Cole wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:07 pm
Thanks for sharing! My wife became very skeptical about what is considered to be "standard" pre-natal care and ultrasounds when we were expecting our first one. She is pleased to find this topic addressed in such a considerate way.
I think we should increase our efforts to address questions of health and well-being in general. Not only is our society sick, it makes us sick, spiritually, but also physically. I would say 9/10th of what fill the shelves of a typical grocery store should be labeled straight out poisonous.
Yes, Yes, Yes. I agree 100%. I wish I had shared your wife's skepticism. It took me two births to shake off the conditioning to trust the medical industry blindly. I'd say a lot of people distrust the government, but even fewer than that are willing to distrust their doctors. 90% of grocery store food IS complete garbage. Eating it is putting our people on the path to insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, more and death. Everyone here would benefit to mainly stay at the edges of grocery stores and avoiding the middle aisles. The produce area, meat area, dairy, etc.

I will post with success that I have been doing my best to be GMO-free, It's HARD in the US, since they're not required to put it in the label. However, my moderate/severe psoriasis I have struggled with for years and dermatologists said would never go away. Is starting to clear up on my body. My skin hasn't looked as good as it does since I was under 7 years old. That's a fact.

fluxmaster
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by fluxmaster » Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:44 pm

Grimork wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:27 pm
As far as I've ascertained the biggest ultrasound risks to low benefit ratio is with the intravaginal ultrasounds (SUPER DANGEROUS, would not recommend) and also with the "heart doppler" wand ultrasounds, they can check your baby's heartbeat in other ways. Risk with little to no reward and they're way too happy to use that technology. The "heartbeat doppler" is interesting because it seems like the baby in utero is trying to get away from it!
A couple of things that people need to know about the "heartbeat doppler": (1) It is actually more powerful than the ultrasound that is used to produce images, and (2) it doesn't actually give you the sound of the baby's heartbeat. Most people listen to it and think, "Oh, how cute, sweet, adorable, etc. We're listening to our baby's heartbeat!" but that's not the case at all. What the device does is measure the baby's heartbeat and produce a synthetically generated heartbeat sound. So you are not actually listening to the baby's heartbeat; you are listening to a synthetic sound produced by the machine.

On the other hand, our midwife told us that the heartbeat doppler could detect a rapidly dropping heartbeat during birth, which could indicate that the baby is being strangled by the umbilical cord and requires an emergency C-section, which is not as easily detected with a stethoscope, so we permitted it during labor.

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Grimork
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Grimork » Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:46 am

fluxmaster wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:44 pm
On the other hand, our midwife told us that the heartbeat doppler could detect a rapidly dropping heartbeat during birth, which could indicate that the baby is being strangled by the umbilical cord and requires an emergency C-section, which is not as easily detected with a stethoscope, so we permitted it during labor.
Thank you for that added information, Fluxmaster. I have read that it is untrue that a baby can be strangled by the umbilical cord, as the baby doesn't "breathe" until after he is birthed. Of course people have claimed that it can cut off their pulse by squeezing off the artery, I am not sure about the truth of that. https://prenatalyogacenter.com/blog/dis ... ical-cord/
Understanding how a baby gets its oxygen allows us to understand why a baby cannot strangle or “choke” on its cord. In order to choke, one must be using its trachea to breath air. Clearly, there is no air in the uterus, the baby does not breathe through its throat and, therefore, cannot choke. When an ultrasound reveals the cord around the neck it is a normal human response to anthropormorphasize the intrauterine baby to our extrauterine experience. But this is not the case and there is no reason to have fear. So, let’s dispel once and for all the rumor that a cord around the neck (nuchal cord) is more dangerous than any other situation. About 35-40% of normal term babies are born with the cord around the neck at least once. It can also be wrapped around the body or legs or even at times have a true knot. None of which are usually significant as the cord is designed to deal with this.
I can think of a personal anecdote where my SIL as a baby had the umbilical cord around her neck as she was being delivered and the doctor actually cut into her neck trying to remove it. WHY? Isn't that INSANE? She would've been perfectly fine. The placenta provides oxygen to the baby even after birth for awhile. Unfortunately hospitals clamp that life affirming oxygen, nutrients, and blood to keep it from going to the rightful owner (the baby) and donate/sell it to god knows who.
Hospitals love to force or otherwise trick healthy mothers into having a C-Section as this gives them direct control of the birth. You are at their mercy. I am not saying that emergencies don't arise, but to me it's not worth using that dangerous technology for. Again, not shaming anyone for their fears and past decisions. The fact is, we all have been and are being lied to and we need to be very vigilant and learn knowing all the risks what we can accept and what we cannot. I also am a firm believer that inducements and things hospitals do CAUSE a lot of these birthing issues.

Here's more reading about umbilical cords: https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/nuc ... -the-neck/

Richard_G_603
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Richard_G_603 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:08 am

The cord around the neck is not about CHOKING, the preventing of airflow through the trachea, but rather about STRANGLING, the prevention of oxygenated blood flowing to the brain. this distinction is not one that many people are aware of, but participants and fans of mixed martial arts can assure you that they are two different things applied in different ways, with different results.

At such a crucial moment in the baby's life a lack of oxygen to the brain can (not necessarily will, but CAN) actually cause some long term damage ranging from coordination issues to processing speed.

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Grimork
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by Grimork » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:34 am

Right, Richard. However a normal healthy umbilical cord should not even strangle the baby. Also, if you see that second link there are many times when deaths are attributed to the cord when they may be in fact from other causes. Stillbirths are terrible, but they happen.

Also a lot of hospitals will say just because the cord is wrapped around a baby it is an emergency situation. Like I said, emergencies can happen but it is VERY rare that it's actually from the cord. However, hospitals try to cut open women at every possible opportunity. Why is that? That's what we should be asking.

fluxmaster
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Re: Potential Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasounds

Post by fluxmaster » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:20 am

Let me provide some more details about my experience with a midwife so that we can understand this better. My wife and I decided that we wanted to minimize the amount of ultrasound that our baby would be exposed to, so we decided not to do the ultrasound to determine the baby's sex but to wait until the baby was born to find out.

We wanted a homebirth, as we read that they are safer, so we went to a homebirth midwife. She used the heartbeat doppler several times, and initially I was unaware that it used ultrasound. I thought that is was simply a microphone with an amplifier, and that we were actually listening to our baby's heartbeat. But then I did some research and learned that, not only was it using ultrasound, but that the ultrasound used was much stronger than the ultrasound used to produce images of the fetus.

On our next meeting with the midwife, I asked her to stop using the heartbeat doppler and use a stethoscope instead. She replied that, during labor and birth, the heartbeat doppler could detect a slowing heartbeat, indicating strangulation. She said that that was very difficult to do with a stethoscope, because you had to count the heartbeats while looking at a watch, and it was not very accurate. She said that, were strangulation to occur, we would have to get in the car and immediately drive to the hospital for an emergency C-section. I asked her whether she could only use the heartbeat doppler during labor and birth and use the stethoscope during prenatal visits, and she agreed to that.

My wife's labor was very short. The midwife only used the doppler once, and, just as she started to use it, our baby's head emerged, and she let out a scream. I guess she didn't like the doppler, either.

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