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Beyond Tom Cruise - the bigger ultrasound picture

"Patient safety and diagnostic excellence are paramount and are best achieved through education, certification, and accreditation of ultrasound facilities" asserted Lennard Greenbaum, MD, president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) in support of the criticism voiced by the medical community regarding Tom Cruise's purchase of an ultrasound machine for personal use. As the association for medical ultrasound, the AIUM leads in addressing the ultrasound community's concerns on a closely related issue: the emergence of businesses promoting ultrasound services for entertainment purposes. The AIUM promotes a 3-pronged approach to safety--for both the mother and the unborn child.

Prudent Use

Purchase of an ultrasound machine for private, at home use entails inappropriate operation of a prescription medical device designed for diagnostic use by a trained medical professional. Similarly, businesses are inappropriately offering keepsake fetal ultrasound without medical benefit. The AIUM developed the following Prudent Use statement, which has also been endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Radiology (ACR), Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU), Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU), and American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS):

The AIUM advocates the responsible use of diagnostic ultrasound. The AIUM strongly discourages the nonmedical use of ultrasound for psychosocial or entertainment purposes. The use of either two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound to only view the fetus, obtain a picture of the fetus, or determine the fetal gender without a medical indication is inappropriate and contrary to responsible medical practice. Although there are no confirmed biological effects on patients caused by exposures from present diagnostic ultrasound instruments, the possibility exists tha
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Contact: Jennifer Hilderbrand
jhilderbrand@aium.org
301-498-4100
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
9-Dec-2005


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