Bolingbrook – Expectant moms will
be able to see a clearer picture of their unborn babies thanks to a
four-dimensional ultrasound machine soon to arrive at Adventist Bolingbrook
Hospital. The technology
is a gift from the Bolingbrook Hospital Foundation, which last week authorized
purchasing the $130,000 imaging machine.
More than 500 babies have been born
at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
since it opened in January, far exceeding hospital administrators’ initial
projections. New projections estimate that more than 700 babies will be
delivered by the year’s end. The four-dimensional ultrasound machine will be
the hospital’s first.
“As more and more moms are choosing
to give birth at Adventist
they’ve come to expect the best technology and the most comfortable labor and
delivery rooms in addition to quality patient care,” said Rick Mace, the
hospital’s chief executive officer.
Ultrasound images are made by
sending high-frequency sound waves into the mother’s body. The rebounding waves
collectively produce an image, seen as a two-dimensional “slice” that has been the
standard technology for the past 25 years. These images are often grainy and
difficult to read. Three-dimensional images, however, depict multiple slices in
a static picture; four-dimensional images depict multiple slices in a real-time
Three- and four-dimensional
technology is particularly helpful in detecting certain physical abnormalities
and some genetic syndromes in the fetus early on in the pregnancy.
“This technology gives doctors and
patients additional information about the baby’s development,” said Dr. James Rejowski, president of the medical staff at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
and a member of the Bolingbrook Hospital Foundation’s board of directors. “For
example, if a four-dimensional ultrasound shows that a baby will be born with
cleft palate, parents can take those images to a surgeon even before the baby
is born to discuss treatment options.”
Usually considered for use between
the 19th week and 35th week of gestation, a
four-dimensional ultrasound can provide additional information about the unborn
baby’s traits and movement tendencies. Smiling and other facial expressions
often can be detected at 20 weeks; beyond 24 weeks, they can be seen sucking
their thumbs and sticking out their tongues. Because the images depicted in a
four-dimensional ultrasound are so lifelike, another benefit of the technology
is its ability to strengthen the bond between mother and child.
“Expectant mothers might be more
encouraged to improve their diets and cease harmful behaviors such as drinking
alcohol or smoking as a result of viewing these remarkable images of their
unborn children,” said Ron Hawkins, a member of the Bolingbrook Hospital
Foundation’s board of directors.