Northland's Ultrasound Specialists
Phone: 09 974 8844
21/50 Kioreroa Road
Port Whangarei, WHANGAREI 0110

Who can I bring?

As you may be aware, EchoNorth along with many other ultrasound providers have recently reviewed their policy on support people accompanying patients for diagnostic ultrasound examinations. For pregnancy there are many reasons for this review, but predominantly for us they are;

  • Distraction of the sonographers performing the scan.
  • Ongoing concerns for contact tracing regarding COVID-19.
  • Space at our practice.

With these factors in mind we have requested that under the Covid-19 Protection Framework Traffic Light System you will be allowed one adult support person to attend. No children under the age of 12 years old attend (those over the age of 12 will be counted as one of the support people).

Ultrasound scans are detailed medical examinations to assess the health of the baby and require considerable concentration from the sonographer. Any distractions within the room, including phone calls, chatter, children playing or crying, increase the likelihood for errors (this could mean missing an abnormality on your baby). Distractions are well recognized as a major cause of medical error in health care and this is something we wish to avoid.

Many children become distressed/fractious in the strange environment and very few hold their attention for more than a few minutes. This causes considerable distraction for the sonographer and can be upsetting for the mother. In these circumstances they have to be taken out of the room resulting in the support person missing the scan.

In addition, it is important to recognize that not all scans have happy outcomes and receiving bad news or discussing concerning findings with children present can be very difficult for both the parents and the sonographer.

Of course, we understand that you wish to share the excitement of the scan with your children, friends and family which is why a link to the images taken at the 12 and 20 week scans are sent directly to your phone after the scan for you to share with your family in your own time.

We are also happy to document the gender of your baby in a sealed envelope so that this news can be shared with whomever at the time of your choosing.

We also ask you to understand that our practice, our waiting room and our carpark are small and we do not have the capacity to have large groups waiting in reception, and with the ever present risk of COVID-19 we need to ensure that we can quickly and accurately contact trace visitors to our practice should the need arise.

We hope that you understand that our intention is to ensure the best medical care for you and your unborn child.