By the end of the year, Bothwell Regional Health Center imaging technologists will begin providing level 2 or high-risk ultrasounds for pregnant women, which will allow them to stay in Sedalia for evaluation of a high-risk pregnancy.
A level 1 or standard ultrasound is a comprehensive, detailed evaluation of a baby’s anatomy and development. A level 2 ultrasound is a more in-depth evaluation than a standard evaluation and requires appropriately trained physicians and technologists.
“We sent two of our technologists to University of Missouri Health Care for training to perform level 2 ultrasounds,” said Marc Dougherty, RT(R), Bothwell’s Medical Imaging director. “The reports will be read by one of three physicians in Columbia within 24 hours of the procedure, giving quick feedback to parents.”
Common reasons for a Level 2 ultrasound include a family history of birth defects, maternal medical problems like diabetes, hypertension or excessive body mass index, exposure to medications associated with birth defects, advanced maternal age of 35 or older, abnormal screening results, and birth defects suspected from a level 1 ultrasound.
“During a level 2 ultrasound, we measure the baby’s size and heart rate, take pictures of the heart and brain, and we survey all of the organs, as well as the umbilical cord to make sure everything is developing normally or to identify potential problems early,” said Lindsay Rasa, RDMS, ultrasound technologist.
“The level 2 ultrasound is really helpful to detect some birth defects to help with prenatal treatment or immediate treatment at delivery to prevent serious complications,” Dougherty said. “In addition to the technical information, it’s also about empowering parents to have the most information we can provide them about their baby.”