Spring, 2014

Spring, 2014

Hi Everyone!
Spring brings another NCUS Annual Symposium and also a recap of the symposium and news of the society. Hard to believe the society has been around longer than some of my fellow sonographers have been….well, I won’t go there, but suffice it to say, I could have scanned some of you in-utero when I was a baby myself!

This edition brings news from our NCUS President, Marta Thorup, RDMS, RVT along with other symposium news. Read along to discover North Carolina sonographers that have been awarded for their service and expertise. Enjoy the Cases of the Day that were part of the Symposium; see if you know the answer and find out who did know! Two wonderful articles are also included; one from Randy Moore, DC, RDMS, RMSK that was a speaker at the Fall and Spring Symposium, the other from a newly graduated and registered sonographer, Hudson O’Keefe, BA, RDMS.

Have a safe Spring,
Teresa Jones

Hello NCUS Members and Affiliates!
What a wonderful time we had at the 33rd Annual Spring Symposium! Based on the reviews of the evaluations we received by those in attendance, I see that you all agree it was an outstanding lineup of speakers, and that there was a whole lot of learning going on!

In addition to comments about how much you all learned, we had so many comments about how enjoyable it was, and an overall positive experience. Comments like these make us feel a deep sense of satisfaction because we work hard to create a symposium that those in attendance can benefit from. So thank you all who attended! Cheers to you!

It was really nice to be able to look out across the convention center and see a good portion of our membership there. Those that couldn't make it were missed. You should know that during the year we as a board work hard to create a society that you want to belong to. It is our hope, goal, and purpose to put together meetings that not only provide you with the opportunity to obtain necessary CMEs, but most importantly provide the opportunity to learn and grow in this profession. It is my opinion that Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are a very special group of people, and we are in the best medical profession. In addition to being proficient imagers of the human body that contributes to solving important medical questions, we are so blessed to be able to contribute to our patient’s health and well-being in other ways, sometimes on a deep and profound level. Often we have the opportunity to help our patients by giving them a little bit of our time and attention, and compassion. Patients really appreciate it when you take a few minutes to explain the anatomy and functions of their organs. These types of conversations usually lift their spirits, gives them hope, and builds confidence in your abilities. Patients, physicians, and colleagues will appreciate your knowledge and your professionalism. These are a few reasons why I believe being a sonographer is personally rewarding and life-fulfilling.

Memberships will no longer be based on the calendar year but will be from Spring Meeting to Spring Meeting.

Patient Information

  • 26-year-old African-American female
  • G7P3, GA 28w4d
  • Family history of CHD (previous child, the father’s family):

Patient history:

  • 29 yo female with excessive/frequent menstruation = 1 year, no pelvic pain/tenderness
  • Large body habitus, nonsmoker, diabetic
  • G4P3013, hx of 3 Cesarean Sections (due to Macrosomia) last of which was >3 years
  • No other personal or familial hx to note

George Blanchard has been doing ultrasound for approximate 30 years. He has worked at various facilities such as UNC Chapel Hill, Duke OB/GYN and Cape Fear Valley Health System. Mr. Blanchard has also served as President, Vice President and general board of directors for the North Carolina Ultrasound Society during the early years of the society. He helped with the establishment of the central office for the NCUS. Mr. Blanchard has contributed much of his life to ultrasound and the profession as a whole.

Mr. Blanchard, what or who sparked your interest in ultrasound?
While doing research in maternal fetal medicine at UNC Chapel Hill, I worked with Dr. John Seeds, MD. He would perform his own ultrasounds on patients and would demonstrate to me how to obtain the images he needed. I found this very interesting, so I began to study it more and became registered in OB/GYN.

How long have you been a sonographer?
Approximately 30 years. I became a registered sonographer in the early 1980’s and was the first registered OB/GYN sonographer in the OB department at UNC Chapel Hill.

What is your specialty?
High risk OB.

What do you like most about the profession?
I really enjoy getting to know the patient. With high risk OB, you have multiple visits during the pregnancy so you get a chance to get to know your patient a little more than some of the other specialties.

Where are you employed at the present time?
I am currently working independently and at South Piedmont Community College as an adjunct instructor. I have found that during the later part of my career I really enjoy teaching others the art of ultrasound.

Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) imaging and ultrasound guided injection technique of this large articulation has, along with the entirety of MSK imaging, hit what I consider “critical mass”. In other words, the combination of interest and application are sufficient to sustain the ongoing use in the clinical setting, as it should be.

An intimate understanding of musculoskeletal anatomy is vital to standardized, reproducible diagnostic imaging, and subsequent increased accuracy in guided procedures, and this applies to the SIJ as well. A clear understanding of SIJ anatomy will address two key concerns relative to imaging and injections.

  1. What is the normal SIJ appearance on ultrasound ?
  2. Where is the most appropriate site of entry for an SIJ injection ?

SIJ Anatomy: Fibrocartilage and Hyaline cartilage
The SIJ is a uniquely designed di-arthrodial joint. While it is considered a synovial joint because it has a rudimentary capsule (posteriorly), it is valuable to understand the dual presence of cartilages lining the interior of the joint.
Pain Physician. 2006 Jan;9(1):61-7

Diana Strickland, BS, RDMS, RDCS received the Distinguished Sonographer Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine at the annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada this past March. The Distinguished Sonographer Award was established in 1997 as a means of recognizing and honoring current or retired AIUM members who have significantly contributed to the growth and development of medical ultrasound. This annual presentation honors an individual whose outstanding contributions to the development of medical ultrasound warrant special merit. Read the article in its entirety. Great accomplishment Diana!!

All day long we see all types of patients. Some are fun and easy to scan. Some are difficult to deal with and even harder to scan. Maybe we make excuses for their actions or words. They are scared. They are in denial. They are in pain. They are just grumpy people. The excuses we come up with can be largely dependent on the day we are having as sonographers. But what about this person has Asperger’s?

Asperger’s Syndrome is more common than you may think. It is estimated that 1 in 88 people have some sort of autism and 3 in 10,000 have Asperger’s. That may sound uncommon but when you do the math…averaging 10 scans per day for a fulltime sonographer over a 20 year career means you will likely scan about 16 people with Asperger’s. That still may sound uncommon but consider the starfish parable. A man comes upon a beach with thousands of starfish lying on the sand and another man throwing them one by one back into the ocean. The first man exclaims, “What are you doing? You’re wasting your time! You can’t possibly throw them all back into the ocean in time to save them!” The second man replies, “You are probably right.” He throws yet another into the surf. “But I just made all the difference in the world to that one.” So out of an estimated 52,000 scans in your lifetime, knowledge of Asperger’s could make all the difference to your starfish patient.

Case #1:  Tetralogy of Fallot

Click here for the solution

  • Kim Vu
  • Andrea Sokira
  • Erika Bynum
  • Steven Penny


Case #2:  Uterine Dehiscence

Click here for the solution

  • Brian Kilpatrick
  • Patrice Kappler
  • Katherine Dennis


Case #3:  Trisomy 13

Click here for the solution

  • LaDonna Sasscer