Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Ultrasound Is 'The Best Way to Terrify a Pregnant Woman,' Says One Expert

continued...

Asked about peoples' ability to comprehend the nature of such risks, and doctors' ability to explain them, Shields says that at the medical center where he works, "the patient is referred to one of the perinatal centers, and seen by a specialist, and can have a follow-up consultation within 24 to 48 hours. ... When there's any doubt as to what's going on, the person should probably be referred to someone who can explain." But he adds that many doctors "have a difficult time saying, 'I really don't know what this means, let's send you to someone who does.'"

Echoing Filly, Shields says that fear of malpractice contributes to driving doctors to tell patients about soft abnormalities. "Misdiagnosis on ultrasound is becoming one of the new [medical-legal] bonanzas. If you state that [the abnormality] is there, you eliminate your risk."

"It is time," Filly writes, "for the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to convene a panel of experts to analyze the data on this issue and publish a position paper on the practicality of employing the Down's syndrome 'markers' in low risk women at the soonest possible date."

1|2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnancy am i pregnant
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video