Misleading ultrasound tests leads to abortion
Told by doctors her baby was dead, woman delivers two healthy sons
A British study raises concern over the number of preborn children who have been killed after they were wrongly diaganosed as already dead or disabled in ultrasound scans. A study of more than 2000 babies in West Yorkshire revealed one in 200 terminations were based on misinterpretation of routine scans.
The same study, conducted by Ian Brand, a consultant radiologist at Airedale General Hospital in Keighley, West Yorkshire, revealed failure to detect significant handicaps in one in every 100 scans. A National Health Service leaflet will be produced next year warning women that “one in 200 abortions performed for abnormality is on a baby that is normal.”
Several cases of ultrasound misdiagnoses lead to a public inquiry in Cardiff. One woman was told her baby was dead and advised to have a D&C in two separate pregnancies. She gave birth to two normal sons. Another woman was told her child suffered from dwarfism,. Her daughter is now a healthy one-year old.
Organizations such as the Association for Improvement in Maternity Services and the Miscarriage Association express concerns that doctors are too eage to perform D&C’ and are rushing women into D&C’s on the basis of ultrasound scans. There are also concerns about the harmful effects of ultrasound scans on the preborn child. Some studies have linked exposure to growth retardation, dyslexia and other abnormalities.
The Royal Medical Colleges are calling for a register of adequately trained staff and written policies regarding the use of ultrasounds at every hospital. At present there is no requirement for specialize training in ultrasound use in Great Britain.