Ultrasound: Just the Facts

For those in the medical field the many uses of ultrasound are well known and recognized as being far more varied than the average person may expect. After all, most people think of ultrasounds as one of the aspects of tracking the development of a baby during pregnancy. But, there are many other ways the ultrasound is used in medicine – as well as some interesting facts about this extremely useful tool.

In addition, most of know the ultrasound is used to give medical professionals a picture of what is happening within the body, but what else do you know about this non-invasive process?  Here are some interesting facts about ultrasound technology – some of which, might surprise you!

Facts about Ultrasound Technology

Perhaps the most well-known fact in the world of ultrasounds- outside its use in pregnancy care – is that there are several animals that use ultrasound, referred to as echolocation, to navigate and survive. These include bats, whales, dolphins and shrews. But, moving to the world of medicine – here are some interesting facts.

·      Though he did not invent it, Robert Hooke (1635 – 1703) noted that he believed it would be possible to study the inside of the body through the use of sound.

·      Ultrasound has been around since 1794, when Italian physiologist, Lazzaro Spallanzani began studying the way bats navigate in the dark. This understanding became the basis for the modern ultrasound physics.

·      The first tests to be conducted using ultrasound technology were done in 1826.

·      In the early years of ultrasound usage, patients had to be completely submerged in water in order to get a reading.

·      Dr. John J. Wild (1914 – 2009) is credited as being the Father of Medical Ultrasound. He is best known for using ultrasound to diagnose cancer.

·      In 1942, Dr. Karl Dussik first used ultrasound to diagnose brain tumors.

·      Other uses for ultrasound technology include veterinary procedures, gallbladder disease, cyst and tumor detection, urological concerns, heart problems and thyroid related issues – to name just a few.

·      In 1957, the Pan Scanner was introduced. It used a rotating transducer that did not require the patient to be fully submerged in water.

·      The first handheld ultrasound scanner was used in the US in 1963.

·      There is such a thing as 5-Dimensioinal ultrasound! It was invented by a group at John Hopkins University and integrated with computer surgical systems in conjunction with 3D ultrasounds. It was patented by Dr. Russell Taylor in 2011.

·      Ultrasound screenings are supported by 90% of cardiologists, neurologist and vascular surgeons.

·      The gel used during an ultrasound is to enable a tighter bond between the skin and  the transducer, thus giving a more accurate reading.

So, the next time you hear the word “ultrasound” don’t be surprised if it is not in reference to a pregnancy. It could be to a long list of procedures and includes much more than one might expect. Still have questions about the use of ultrasound? Give one of the National Ultrasound specialist a call today. We would love to hear from you!