Help to save the number of babies lost every day
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Every 4 hours in Australia, a family is faced with the loss of a baby, faced with a loss that the heart was never made for, that is 6 babies a day. We all need to join together to work harder at doing whatever is needed to reduce this number. In 2017 my husband and I lost our son, unexpectedly, at 38 weeks during labour, a transvaginal ultrasound at 20 weeks would have helped to save his life. More about that later, for now let me explain...
At 18-20 weeks a pregnant woman undergoes a morphology scan - this scan looks for abnormalities in the baby's structural development and growth and also checks the position of the placenta. It is classed as the most important ultrasound in a pregnancy...yet it is unable to pick up a high number of other serious issues and conditions in pregnancy. Whilst the morphology scan is detailed, if the technology is available to have a more detailed and in-depth scan, one that can pick up a long list of issues and concerns then why isn't is standard medical practice?!
This petition is to try to get standard medical practice changed. Resulting in all pregnant women having a transvaginal ultrasound at 20 weeks. A transvaginal ultrasound is able to internally examine female reproductive organs which includes the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and vagina.
So, what types of things can a transvaginal ultrasound specifically look at/detect:
Unexplained vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, able to check for cysts, monitor the heartbeat of the foetus, look at the cervix for any changes that could lead to complications such as Miscarriage or premature delivery, examine the placenta for abnormalities, diagnose a possible Miscarriage, detect the size as location do the baby, detect if you are pregnant with one or more baby, as well as several other rare conditions such as vasa previa.
To sum it up, transvaginal ultrasounds provide a clear diagnostic image that they are unable to get from a standard abdominal ultrasound, therefore they are able to detect a higher number of possible issues or problems and are able to provide medical professionals with much more information. They are able to detect things that a normal abdominal ultrasound can not.
If the 20 week morphology scan is meant to be the most important scan during pregnancy then we should be ensuring that we use the technology and resources we have, and since a normal abdominal ultrasound is unable to detect a high number of issues, they should be replaced with every woman having a transvaginal ultrasound at 20 weeks - this should be standard medical practice.
The complication with our son wasn't known until it was too late, so nearly a year later (and lots of research) I am a bereaved mother that is trying to get the medical standards changed so that we can try to continue to reduce the number of babies lost in Australia every year. A transvaginal ultrasound would have been a huge step to changing everything for us - if I had one at 20 weeks I would have been immediately classed as a high risk pregnancy, I would have been closely monitored, would have been sent to the women's and childrens hospital at 32 weeks (we live in the country), I would have had a scheduled cesarean at 35-36 weeks and this would have resulted in our son being with us today.
Instead at 20 weeks I was classed as a low risk pregnancy, at 38 weeks I was in pre labour, I was induced and I was 3 hours into natural labour when in 60 second everything changed... Unfortunately with our specific situation, the condition was then detected, but it was already too late. A condition that could have been picked up by a transvaginal ultrasound which then would have led us on a completely different path.
We have the technology, we have the access to it, we have the people that are able to use the technology, operate the technology and perform the transvaginal ultrasounds - however we don't have the standard medical practice that should be in place. I just can't understand why it isn't standard medical practice to have transvaginal ultrasounds carried out in all pregnancies at 20 weeks - a simple, unharmful scan that can detect a long long list of potential problems or issues relating to the pregnancy or the baby/babies including their well-being and health...a scan that can literally save a babies life.. To me it seems like a simple answer..
Let's join together and get this approved as a new standard medial procedure and help to reduce the number of babies lost to causes that can be detected, therefore changing the outcome - Lives can literally be saved.
So sign the petition and help Me to make it a new standard medical practice for all women to have a transvaginal ultrasound at 20 weeks pregnant - after all the 20 week morphology scan is supposed to be the most important, so why aren't we getting the highest quality scan we can?!
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