Ultrasound techs work in one of the most technologically advanced industries that is prone to further medical advancements every year. One of the most recent discoveries in the sonography world is that a small placenta can critically endanger a fetus by limiting the amount of food and oxygen it receives. The New York Times wrote an article delving into this new discovery last year on how to become an ultrasound technician, citing the research that Yale scientists had developed to measure the volume of the placenta during pregnancy. Using an ultrasound, doctors are now able to measure the volume of the placenta in a similar manner as many of us measure the fuel in a gas gauge.
Ultrasound techs are the main factor in this new discovery and are the people who must carefully monitor the volume and level of the placenta to ensure that the baby is born without any complications. Quoting different doctors who participated in the research the Yale scientists conducted, the Times article demonstrates that this technique allows ultrasound techs and doctors to be able to act before the levels reach a critical point. Still comparing the research to a fuel tank, the doctors liken the volume in a placenta to the moment before your car runs out of gas. It is a frightening thought for many first-time mothers who may have been told that they have a small placenta for maintaining a fetus. However, Dr. Harvey Kliman and his father, Merwin Kliman, were able to derive a formula for finding the placenta’s volume using measurements taken from an ordinary ultrasound halfway through the pregnancy.
They use these measurements to determine the placenta’s height, width, and thickness at maximum height and ensure that the fetus is still able to absorb enough nutrients. Dr. Kliman cited a few problems with the shape of the placenta, but inevitably said that this formula can be programmed into any ultrasound machine, stepping up the responsibilities of an ultrasound tech and leaving new mothers with a new peace of mind. The past few years have seen a flurry of activities with the usage of ultrasounds, and this is only the latest step of many that have indicated how much we now rely on the knowledge of ultrasound techs and doctors who help interpret the ultrasounds. We have come a long way from the first days of ultrasound technology (we thought it was amazing back then!) and who knows what the next few years will bring.