In the new year, doctors are no longer allowed to use a diagnostic method popular with many patients. This is ensured by an ordinance that comes into force at the turn of the year. GIGA explains who is affected.
Expectant parents have to do without new ultrasound technology
From 2021, visits to the gynecologist will change for parents-to-be: Due to a regulation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), some modern imaging procedures will be banned at the turn of the year. Specifically, 3D image recordings of children in the womb and film recordings will no longer be allowed. Instead, parents are left with the usual 2D ultrasound.
However, this is not the case in all cases. In future, doctors will have to decide whether a 3D ultrasound examination is medically necessary. This can apply to high-risk pregnancies or to certain developmental disorders. Then the more modern procedures should continue to be used. Out of sheer, albeit understandable, curiosity, however, “baby cinema” may no longer be offered in the future.
High exposure to ultrasound could be harmful to children
This emerges from a new version of the “Ordinance on the protection against the harmful effects of non-ionizing radiation when used on humans” (NiSV). It comes into force “predominantly on December 31, 2020”, informed the federal ministry. In the opinion of the BMU, the baby cinema denotes the “non-medical use of ultrasound devices to produce medically unnecessary images and films of the unborn child in the womb”.
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As t-online reports, the aim of the new version is to eliminate possible health risks from excessive ultrasound intensity for unborn children. According to the German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine, however, there are no studies that would confirm this risk assessment. Either way, whenever medically necessary, everything will continue to be done to avoid risks for mother and child. The next time you go to the doctor, you should also be aware of this change in sick leave.