Ultraschall Med 2021; 42(01): 98-99
DOI: 10.1055/a-1256-4960
EFSUMB Newsletter

EFSUMB Schools


EUROSON 2021 Timișoara, Romania is on course for 26–29 May but with a close eye on the pandemic. What is certain is that the Young Investigator session will take place (as an online session if necessary) so all National Societies are invited to nominate one member who is 39 years or younger to present an original clinical or basic research paper that has not been published, for the 3000 euro prize.

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We also invite National Societies to nominate published papers to be considered for the EFSUMB Best Published Paper prize of 500 euro. This may be published in any journal three calendar years before the EUROSON Congress by an author of up to 45 years at the time of publication.

2021 is the year for committee elections in EFSUMB so your National Society will be looking for suitable nominations for the EFSUMB’s committees – Executive Bureau, Safety, Education and Professional Standards, Publications or Student Committees.

The votes are cast by the Delegate representing the National Societies at the General Assembly or by postal vote if not present. Votes are based on proportional representation with each Full National Society, having a fixed vote independent of the number of paid members of the national society, and further qualifying votes on the basis of one vote per 100 members.

A reminder that the annual contribution of each membership society is restricted to a maximum of 33 % of the total of Full National Society EFSUMB membership. No fee is due for membership numbers that exceeds the cut-off of 33 % of the total of Full National Society EFSUMB membership. The voting rights equate to the paid membership.

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Private baby scan studios – a nightmare for safety!

Due to modern technology developments, it is possible to use small or even handheld ultrasound devices for foetal 2D, 3D or 4D scanning. The output of these devices is low and to the best of our knowledge does not harm the foetus or will not influence any development stage if it is performed by experienced and well-trained authorised personnel.

In the last two years a lot of start-up companies and other private businesses in Europe have been offering a variety of services with these kind of devices, ranging from early gender determination to “souvenir” 3D images or 4D movies, and sometimes including the rental of these devices to pregnant women for self use. These private scan facilites are doing business mainly for non-medical purposes and offering early medical diagnoses with questionable quality outcome as a BBC article uncovers for the UK in 2020 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54527595).

The lack of consideration of the wellbeing of the foetus and the potential increasing risk to the foetus due to additional non-medical scanning or unsafe diagnoses is a nightmare for ultrasound safety. Insufficiently trained personnel or even laypeople are unlikely to have an understanding of the risks and benefits of the technique. Moreover, a pregnant woman, having undertaken a non-medical scan may not realise the important diagnostic value for herself and her foetus of a scan performed by appropriately trained personnel.

Throughout Europe the services which these private baby scan studios offer have variable legal regulations. While some countries do not have any regulation at all, others allow midwifes or other medical staff to perform the scans, while others such as Germany have strengthened the regulations and are forbidding non-medical scans from January 2021 (Article 4 of Regulation on the protection against adverse effects of non-ionising radiation in the application on humans: Artikel 4 – Verordnung zum Schutz vor schädlichen Wirkungen nichtionisierender Strahlung bei der Anwendung am Menschen (NiSV) in: Verordnung zur weiteren Modernisierung des Strajlenschutzrechtes).

ECMUS has worked in the past and will continue in the future to work with other societies and stakeholders on Safety Statements to ensure that that ultrasound scans are performed by authorisised and experienced personel only (i. e. physicians, sonographers, technicians) who are appropriately trained, provide a high quality professional diagnostic service and are well-trained in safety issues.

EFSUMB Safety Committee (ECMUS)


Publication History

Publication Date:
02 February 2021 (online)

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