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4-D Ultrasounds Are Risky Entertainment

With names like "A Womb With a View," "Fetal Fotos" and "A Peek in the Pod," ultrasound boutiques sound like an innocent way to get a glimpse of your unborn child. A few hundred dollars buys 90 minutes in a bedroom suite outfitted with a four-dimensional ultrasound machine that allows you to see much more definition--eyebrows, noses, lips, ears--than the grainier, two-dimensional ultrasound images many doctors rely upon. But a growing number of officials worry these elective ultrasound exams, some of which are even done in shopping malls, are potentially dangerous. Even the FDA has warned about these prenatal ultrasounds. In animal studies, certain levels of ultrasound can cause damages in growing, developing bones, plus the vibration and heat from the 4-D ultrasounds could severely damage the fetus if not used properly. Even back in 2001 I posted an article linking prenatal ultrasounds to brain damage in babies, and it is hard to imagine why anyone would want to risk this severe side effect for "entertainment" purposes.

ABC News July 1, 2004

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