Can I scan pregnant women?

Can I scan pregnant women?

As tempting as it may be to turn your training and ultrasound machine to use on pregnant humans, unless you have registered as a provider with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), offering this as a service is illegal in the United Kingdom. The CQC specifically lists ultrasound scanning as a regulated activity:

“All diagnostic procedures involving the use of any form of radiation (including x-ray), ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to examine the body are included.”

This applies to “all organisations” including people “offering care in your home.” There is no grey area and no exemption. Punishments at the CQC’s disposal include severe fines and imprisonment.

Can I scan myself and my friends?

It’s never a good idea to scan pregnant women if you are not trained to, particularly in their first trimester. You could provide false reassurance (or cause false alarm), and you are unlikely to be well versed in the correct ultrasound exposure values for different stages of pregnancy. However, it is not illegal. What is illegal is offering this as a service to the general public.

You can report any individual or business offering human pregnancy scans as a service directly to the CQC here.


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