Prenatal ultrasound appointments are usually simple and happy affairs for expecting mothers. But, there are times during a woman’s pregnancy when her physician might need fast access to fetal ultrasound images. When a pregnant woman experiences complications like bleeding or pain, handheld ultrasound could be a valuable tool to quickly diagnose problems and assist in triage. It can also provide some answers to the patient more quickly, alleviating the anticipation that comes with waiting for answers or a diagnosis.
Physicians can use bedside or pocket-sized ultrasound machines, such as GE Healthcare’s Vscan Air™, at the point of care to identify potential problems in real time, increasing access to and accelerating delivery of care for pregnant women and many other patients.
Handheld Ultrasound for Time-Sensitive Fetal Ultrasound Images
Handheld ultrasound devices are small, convenient and lightweight. They can perform well in emergency and delivery rooms, providing quick fetal ultrasound images for doctors treating pregnant women. They also can be useful in primary and community care settings for a wide variety of patients.
A study published in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology (Do pocket-Sized ultrasound machines have the potential to be used as a tool to triage patients in obstetrics and gynecology?) concluded that the findings and final diagnosis in the three study groups were similar for both a pocket-sized ultrasound machine (PUM) used transabdominally and a high-specification ultrasound machine (HSUM) used transvaginally and/or transabdominally.
What Handheld Prenatal Ultrasound Can Show
In the early stages of pregnancy, prenatal ultrasound can help clinicians identify pregnant women who are at a high risk for complications so they can develop care plans to properly manage these pregnancies. These fetal ultrasound images can ensure that the patient receives proper care for themselves and their baby.
Based on clinical evidence from another study in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, “A battery-driven [pocket-sized ultrasound machine] can be used in third-trimester obstetrics for routine assessment of fetal growth (biparietal diameter, transcerebellar diameter and femur length) and for assessment of fetal well-being.”
When imaging pregnant women, handheld ultrasound is an effective option to quickly capture fetal images. It can help doctors determine the clinical management of pregnant women, as well as identify and determine the best courses of action for emergency situations.
Handheld ultrasound for fetal development can support a variety of common exams for pregnant women, including fetal viability and cardiac activity assessment, assessment of amniotic fluid levels, determining fetal presentation and position, evaluation of placenta position and monitoring labor progress.