Jan 172013

“Don’t worry about the weight estimate. It’s almost impossible to get an accurate measurement at this point, and I only do it because the doctors want it.” – Ultrasound technician during a late-pregnancy ultrasound.

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  15 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday! “Don’t Worry About The Weight Estimate…””

  1. Wow, an ultrasound tech who applies evidence based practice! Hopefully the doctor thought around the same lines.

    • I am guessing that s/he didn’t agree with the tech if the test was ordered. Unless the doctor is like my first and second OBs. They just order every possible allowable charge based on patients’ insurance, and then disregard the information found if the test isn’t reliable in the first place.

  2. I hope the tech writes up the reports that way, such as “Baby weighs between six and eight pounds” rather than “Baby weighs seven pounds two ounces.” ;-)

    • Radiologists have to approve the techs findings, so I doubt it.

      • Actually plenty of techs work in the OB office for the OB. So no radiologist involved.

        • I guess it depends on the setting I know in large institutions they all go through rad, but your right could be private practice. Paperwork so much depends on where you are.

          • I think it reall does depend on where you’re at. My OB’s office has three doctors, and then (counting from the staff pic on their Facebook page) ten staff members that includes nurses, the u/s tech, and front desk staff. As I mentioned below I doubt they’re sending the u/s reports off to be looked at since it’s in-house, and they schedule u/s for immediately prior to regular. I’ve never had any problems, but I know that if they do find any problems they’ll refer you to the hospital to have a more in-depth scan done which I’m sure does go through radiology. I know when my daughter took up wetting 15-20 diapers a day (which mercifully ended up finally being diagnosed as a weird response to stress after absolutely nothing could be found wrong) and she was sent for a renal u/s, that tech would tell me nothing about what she was finding and I had to wait a few days to hear back that everything looked normal from her doctor. I know from the insurance statement that those were looked over by radiology.

          • And when any of us go to the private radiologist and the tech runs the scan the radiologist reviews it before the goes to the ordering doctor (broken bones, scoliosis checks, kidneystones) Ive gotten in the habit of when the regular doctor’s office calls and leaves a voice mail that everything looks normal that I call the radiologist directly and get the actual report. Whether it is the degree of curvature of the spine of the diameter of the kidney stones I want more information than a nurse can relay by telephone. Keep in mind, Goldilocks, that all you know so far in your training is institutional procedures. So your original comment of “I doubt it” just shows how young and inexperienced you are. You might want to keep that fact in mind the next time somebody comments that you look just like a real little doctor. Maybe it isn’t your age or your size. Maybe it is your arrogant mouth!

          • Goldilocks – I appreciate your 2 cents and I think we can all learn from each other. I didn’t find her comment all that arrogant.

          • I second this, Goldilocks. As much as people seem to disagree with you, I appreciate that you listen to other people’s opinions, and you do come back and continue to give yours.

  3. Good for this tech! I would assume she could potentially get in trouble if an expectant parent repeats what the tech said to the doctor, since most doctors probably don’t want word to get out that ultrasounds aren’t the end-all be-all of weight prediction in late pregnancy.

  4. I’m always surprised at the clairvoyant techs mentioned on here. I had late term u/s done by 2 different techs for my first pregnancy (I refused them for my 2nd pregnancy b/c they are worthless) and, before I even got on the table, both said that there is a LARGE margin of error on late term u/s and to be aware of that.

  5. This one was mine. Earlier in my pregnancy, the u/s tech had estimated about 7 and a half pounds based on current growth by my due date This particular u//s was probably about (the baby in question will be 2 next month, so I’m not 100% on dates) 36 or 37 weeks, and she did the measurements and came up with between 9 and a half and 10 lbs. She told me not to worry because it was hard to estimate weight once babies have some fat on them because u/s doesn’t pick up fat as well, so you can end up with measurements that vary greatly within a short amount of time if you keep redoing them because of how the baby moves. I had known that late term u/s can be off by up to 2 lbs, but still a really big baby was slightly worrying to me. Hearing her say the same things all the ncb info I was reading, and then explain why they can be so off was reassuring.
    She actually works for my OB’s office, so I highly doubt a radiologist is looking over the report before the doctors do. I not sure what she put in the report,but I remember he quoted the same 9 and a half to ten pounds that she told me, so that may have been all she wrote down for him. When I told him that I wasn’t too worried about the size if the baby since late u/s can be off by up to 2 lbs, he told me that any u/s tech who knew what they were doing wouldn’t be that far off. I told him, you know that M. just told me the same thing. I did leave out the fact she was only doing weight estimates because he and the other 2 OBs were ordering them. And for anyone who’s interested my giant close to 10 lb baby weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz.

    • OMG they were off by almost 2 lbs. That almost
      NEVER happens. ;-)

      • Lol! Yeah, and this was done before my due date, and my daughter was 11 days “late.” The early weight estimate was pretty accurate once you factor in an extra week and a halfish. I’m pregnant again, and this time I’m planning on telling them that if they want to estimate fetal weight close to term to go ahead, but I don’t want to know. Even though I knew the estimate could be off,it still left me worrying about whether we’d wasted money on newborn size diapers and covers, and if she’d even be able to wear the newborn sized dress we got for her to wear home from the hospital. Stupid stuff really, but still a wonder in the back of your mind.

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