ST. LOUIS – The Maternal and Fetal Health Centers at Mercy Hospital St. Louis and Mercy Hospital South have been awarded AlUM Ultrasound Practice Accreditation for Fetal Echocardiology, the only certified centers in the St. Louis area and two of three in the state. The third in Missouri is Mercy Clinic – Maternal Fetal Medicine - Springfield.
A fetal echocardiogram is a detailed ultrasound of the fetal heart completed when there is a high risk potential for a fetal heart abnormality or when a fetal heart abnormality is suspected during a routine fetal ultrasound. It gives a better view of the structure and function of an unborn child’s heart and is typically done in the second trimester at approximately 24 weeks of gestational age.
“When pregnant women come in for a fetal echocardiogram they’re nervous and worried about their babies,” said Dr. Ivana Vettraino, Medical Director of the Mercy Clinic Maternal Fetal Health Center. “This certification can give them one little peace of mind knowing our doctors, nurses and sonographers have taken an extra step in training and providing quality care.”
Mercy achieved this recognition through voluntary assessment which includes the training and qualifications of physicians and sonographers; ultrasound equipment maintenance; documentation; storage, and record-keeping practices; policies and procedures to protect patients and staff; quality assurance methods; and the thoroughness, technical quality and interpretation of the sonograms the practice performs.
Mercy Maternal Fetal Health Center was already certified by AIUM in adjunct competence in 3D (GYN), adjunct detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound and gynecologic obstetric ultrasounds first, second and third trimesters. The Perinatal Center at Mercy South was already certified in adjunct detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound; obstetric ultrasounds first, second and third trimesters.
About the AlUM
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is a multidisciplinary medical association of more than 9,900 physicians, sonographers, and scientists dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through professional and public education, research, development of guidelines, and accreditation.
Participation in the AlUM's Ultrasound Practice Accreditation program is available to practices in the following areas of ultrasound: Abdominal/General, Breast, Standard Obstetric (or Trimester-Specific Standard Obstetric) with or without Adjunct Detailed Fetal Anatomic Examinations, Limited OB for Advanced Clinical Providers, Female Pelvic Floor, Musculoskeletal (Diagnostic and/or Ultrasound-guided Interventional Procedures), Fetal Echocardiography, Gynecologic (with or without 3D), Point-of-Care, Thyroid, Parathyroid, & Neck, Urologic, and Ultrasound-guided Regional Anesthesia. For more information, visit www.aium.org.