History of Ultrasound

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History, Use and Safety of Ultrasound

Introduction

Ultrasound is the generation of energy using sound wave of about 20,000 or more vibrations per second. The ultrasound is mostly used in imaging tools and particularly in medical diagnosis. The ultrasound uses sound waves that are above the frequency of the human ear. A transducer is used to give off the sound waves that are reflected back from the tissues, and organs giving a picture of what are inside the body. This is later drawn on a screen. In medical diagnosis, ultrasound is used to analyze the bone structure, look for tumors, and examine the health of the unborn child.

The history of ultrasound dates back to 1940s, during its inception. Dr. Karl Theodore Dussik of Austria, in 1942, published the first medical ultrasonic’s book. His research was based on transmission of ultrasound in brain investigation. In 1950s, Prof Ian Donald of Scotland developed a practical technology and application for ultrasounds (Bo Eklöf, 2012). In the period between 1940s and late 1990s, scans were done to patients seated in water-filled gun turrets. In the late 1990s, Color Doppler introduced color to the previously used black and white images. The ultrasound has been in the forefront of modern medicine. SONAR was the first form of ultrasound. It was used on war ships during the WWII. Soldiers used the sonar ultrasound for navigating the seas by use of the sound waves that were bouncing off the sea floor and interpreting the “echoes”.

Scientists began to image the human body similar to X-ray, with experiment involving the sound waves in late 1940s. Doctors used the ultrasounds in 1950s and 60s, to patients with heart problems, also in gynecology, abdominal uses, and in obstetrics. The images used looked like a seismograph with spikes and lines which depicted the sound waves. Grayscale imaging was introduced in 1970s. This gave physicians the opportunity to cross examine a patient’s autonomy (Dale...
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