Ultrasound scanning

- what is it?

- how is it done?

- why and when is it used?

- advantages

- disadvantages

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  • Ultrasound scanning
    • what is it?
      • uses a transducer to produce a beam of high frequency sound waves
        • penetrates some soft tissues
        • partially reflected from surfaces
      • sound is reflected off surfaces back to a transducer
      • messages passed back to a computer
      • produces a real time moving image on a screen
      • gel used for good contact
    • how is it done?
      • oily gel on abdoment
        • ensures good contact between skin and transducer
      • transducer placed on skin over the part of the body that needs to be scanned
      • receiver alongside transducer
        • detect sound reflected from surfaces inside the body
      • computer software used to process data and produce an image of tissues
    • why and when is it used?
      • scan a foetus in the womb
        • 12th and 20th week of pregnancy
        • useful information
          • whether there is more than one foetus
          • stage of development
      • help a practitioner position a needle accurately
        • test procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling
      • observe condition of other structures and organs
        • liver/kidneys
      • show presence of kidney stones / gallstones
    • advantages
      • can show presence of neural tube defects
        • spina bifida
        • patient can decide whether they want to terminate pregnancy
      • low risk of harm
      • real time moving image
      • relatively cheap
    • disadvantages
      • images are a poor quality
        • don't show a lot of detail
      • cannot go through bone


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