National Physical Laboratory

Ultrasound safety guidelines

Summary

NPL scientists helped the Safety Group of the British Medical Ultrasound Society formulate safety guidelines which have been adopted by the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme.

Background

Image courtesy of iStockphoto
Image courtesy of iStockphoto

The National Measurement Office (NMO) Acoustics and Ionising Radiation Programme enable NPL to contribute to important committees like this.

Impact

The NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme has adopted the guidelines for ultrasound practitioners who perform routine pregnancy scans at 18-20 weeks. They will enable practitioners to make better informed judgements about ultrasound safety, and further protect patients.

This work also demonstrates NPL's expertise directly benefiting quality of life in the UK as these guidelines will influence about 2 million ultrasound scans which are performed on 700,000 pregnant women in the UK each year.

NPL scientists were also involved in preparing a major review of 'Health Effects of Exposure to Ultrasound and Infrasound', which was published by the Health Protection Agency's independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation in February 2010.

Download the Guidelines for the safe use of diagnostic ultrasound equipment document.

Find out more about NPL's Acoustics research

Find out more about NPL's work in Healthcare

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2016
Created: 11 Nov 2010

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