United States Senate & Congress
United States of America

My son, Shane, was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). CDH is a birth defect that occurs when the diaphragm does not fully form allowing the abdominal organs to enter into the chest cavity, preventing the lungs from growing. I had an ultrasound at 8 weeks and then another at 8 and a half months. The ultrasound was performed, and they said everything was OK but wouldn't give us any pictures until they gave in to my begging a few weeks later- only to give a picture of Shane's backside. An ultrasound at 8 months gestation on a baby who had virtually no left diaphragm, the majority of his abdominal organs in his chest, 2 heart murmurs, and a displaced heart, and they claimed they saw nothing. When we requested Shane's medical records a few years later, there it was in black and white on the technician's note- "Stomach missing." They knew something was wrong and never told us, never did more testing, never referred us to a specialist. If we had known, had time to research, we never would have allowed Shane to be treated at the facility that he was transferred to after birth, a hospital with an extremely low CDH survival rate. If we had known, Shane wouldn't have been subjected to the trauma of a transfer and wouldn't have been delivered at a hospital that didn't even have a pediatrician in the building because it was after 5:00 p.m and he wouldn't have suffered many severe complications. Shane died in 1999 at age 6 and a half as a result of these complications. In the United States, ultrasound technicians do not have to be certified and there is no standards or laws on who can/cannot perform ultrasounds.

Do you think your doctor knows what he's doing? He/she may not. Do you want your medical care and the fate of your unborn baby in the hands of someone who only knows how to operate the machine?

In a country that is supposed to be the leader in medical technology, medical technology is advancing, but our legal system is falling behind. In the United States, there are no laws governing that ultrasound technicians must be certified. How many of you had ultrasounds given by nurses, residents, and medical students with little or no training other than how to operate the machine?

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The Petition For Standard Certification Of All Ultrasound Technicians petition to United States Senate & Congress was written by Dawn M. Torrence and is in the category Health at GoPetition.