Hospital bans children from pregnancy scans - do you agree with the move?

An ultrasound examination being carried out at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

An ultrasound examination being carried out at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Children under the age of 12 are to be banned from pregnancy scans at Norfolk’s main hospital to allow sonographers to do their job without any “potential distractions”, it has been revealed.

Ipswich Hospital already advises expecting mothers to only bring one adult to ultrasound appointments unless it is “unavoidable”, while youngsters are welcome to attend examinations at West Suffolk and Colchester General hospitals with their parents or guardians.

Today, our sister paper the Eastern Daily Press reported that Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) would be bringing in the new rules from September 1.

A spokesman for NNUH said: “Restricting the potential distractions and number of visitors, including children, in the room during the examination enables our teams to perform the scan effectively and there are multiple hospitals who restrict this to only one guest.

“It may be necessary for our teams to discuss a woman’s medical history, or to perform a transvaginal scan, an internal examination allowing further investigation of the reproductive organs. Discussing information of this nature can be necessary during the appointment and we are conscious that women may not feel comfortable sharing this with a wider group.”

Although one adult and accompanying children are permitted to join a patient during scans at West Suffolk Hospital, a spokeswoman for the trust said there may be situations were clinicians ask for children to be taken into the waiting room.

She added: “Ultrasounds are important medical examinations, so it’s essential we create the best environment possible for our sonographers to fully concentrate on what they are doing, and one that’s also as calm and relaxed for our patients as possible.”

A spokesman for Colchester General Hospital said: “Our protocol is explained clearly in the appointment letter that we allow one adult and their own well-behaved child (or children) to attend.”

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An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said one adult was allowed to chaperone mothers-to-be in examinations.

She added: “We also advise not to bring children to the scan appointment – however, if it is unavoidable then we welcome children in the scan room. Sonographers will always try to meet the requests of the patient when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

“If children are not in the scan room for the duration of the scan, they may, at the discretion of the sonographer, be invited in at the end of the examination to be part of the experience, again where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

“Scans can be exciting times for patients and their families but they are also an important medical examination that need to be carried out by sonographers with high levels of concentration.”

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