Caring for expectant moms at Guilford County Department of Public Health just became easier thanks to a donation of an ultrasound machine by The Women’s Hospital of Greensboro—part of Moses Cone Health System. The Department of Public Health’s clinical location in Greensboro received the Diasonics Gateway Series Ultrasound on Tuesday, June 11, 2008. The estimated value of the ultrasound machine is nearly $5,000. Women who are enrolled in the Department of Public Health’s Maternity Services program in Greensboro will be eligible to benefit from the ultrasound machine’s capabilities. “The Health Department provides prenatal care to many underserved and women with moderate income in Greensboro. When there is a simple question regarding fetal position or presence of fetal heart tones, these women have to go to the Emergency Room or to the Radiology Department to get the answer. By having an ultrasound at the Health Department, these questions can be answered immediately and with much less cost,” said Dr. Kelly Leggett, OB/Gyn Teaching Service, Women’s Hospital. Dr. Leggett along with Cynthia B. Farrand, Vice President/Administrator of Women’s Hospital was instrumental in making the donation of this equipment possible.
“Moses Cone Health System is a great friend to and supporter of public health in our community. On behalf of our agency and the women we serve, we thank them for this tremendous donation,” stated Merle Green, Health Director.
Ultrasound is simply sound waves. An ultrasound machine sends and receives sound waves. The computer component of the machine reads, interprets the waves and stores the information. This display shows the image.
Ultrasound has been used in a variety of clinical settings, including obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and cancer detection. The main advantage of ultrasound is that certain structures can be observed without using radiation. Ultrasound can also be done much faster than X-rays or other radiographic techniques. Some uses for ultrasound for obstetric (maternity) patients include:
• measuring the size of the fetus to determine the due date
• determining the position of the fetus to see if it is in the normal head down position or breech
• checking the position of the placenta to see if it is improperly developing over the opening to the uterus (cervix)
• seeing the number of fetuses in the uterus
• checking the sex of the baby (if the genital area can be clearly seen)
• checking the fetus’s growth rate by making many measurements over time
• detecting ectopic pregnancy, the life-threatening situation in which the baby is implanted in the mother’s Fallopian tubes instead of in the uterus
• determining whether there is an appropriate amount of amniotic fluid cushioning the baby
• monitoring the baby during specialized procedures - ultrasound has been helpful in seeing and avoiding the baby during amniocentesis (sampling of the amniotic fluid with a needle for genetic testing). Years ago, doctors use to perform this procedure blindly; however, with accompanying use of ultrasound, the risks of this procedure have dropped dramatically.
Guilford County Department of Public Health’s maternity services are available to any female resident of North Carolina who has Medicaid or is eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid must be secured in the county of residence. If the female is not eligible for Medicaid, she may still receive maternity services on a sliding fee scale or she may qualify for our special maternity care program. Maternity/prenatal care services include physical examination; laboratory tests; prepared childbirth classes; parenting classes; supportive counseling; nutrition counseling/assistance; breastfeeding education; home visits; Baby Love (Maternity Care Coordination); adult immunizations; HIV testing and counseling; sexually transmitted infection testing and counseling; and substance abuse counseling.
For more information about the Department of Public Health’s Maternity Services, call 641-7777 or visit www.guilfordhealth.org