The imaging department at Mercy Hospital Washington is offering a service to some expectant moms that is leaving parents breathless.
“I think this is something every pregnant woman should experience,” said father-to-be Christopher Manion. “It blows me away. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
His partner, Amanda Dally of Marthasville had just had an ultrasound at Mercy Hospital in Washington, MO, but not a basic, ordinary ultrasound. Rather, her ultrasound was linked to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur where it was viewed live by Dr. Gilbert Webb, an obstetrician who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine. They were connected by television screens so they could see each other as well as the ultrasound screens. The technology is being used for high-risk pregnancies or to test suspicious findings. The test is ordered by the patient’s physician or obstetrician.
From Creve Coeur, Dr. Webb told Dally and Manion through a screen in a patient room in the imaging department at Mercy Washington, “Your baby’s growth is perfect; not too big, not too small. Every sign is you’re going to have another healthy baby.”
The news came as a relief. Dally’s physician, Dr. D. Bruce Glover of Washington Women’s Healthcare in Washington, had noticed something suspicious on her last test and as a precaution suggested she see a specialist.
“Finding out we could do the test here was really nice because we got to talk to the specialist without having to drive all the way to St. Louis,” said Manion. Better yet, “It’s comforting that you’re talking to a specialist while she’s taking an ultrasound.”
Because the ultrasound is live, the specialist can instruct the ultrasound technician – the person with the patient performing the ultrasound – to go to a specific view or take a specific measurement during the exam. In addition, the patient can ask questions.
“It was nice that I could get my explanation right then and there,” said Dally. “Other times when you take a test, you have to wait for the results. In this case, I didn’t have to stress until the next appointment. This was pretty much the same thing as the doctor being in the room.”
Mercy also offers referral appointments with genetic counselors and maternal-fetal specialists via website camera in a private web conferencing room. Appointments are made through the patient’s physician and can be arranged in some cases immediately following tests such as an ultrasound. For more information, contact a Mercy obstetrician/gynecologist.