Few pregnancy tests are performed on adolescent girls when visiting the ER

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 29th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Managing Health Care

Hospital emergency rooms, need to do more testing for teenage pregnancy even if these adolescent girls are coming in for another health concern.

Adolescent girls admitted to hospital ER

According to Science Daily, not many adolescent females are given a pregnancy test when they enter ER for various reasons. This is the case even after they complain of pains in the abdomen, or they are about to have radiation or other examinations. Though this might not sound alarming; however consider how many young adolescents have unintentionally gotten pregnant, and who may not even be aware that they are pregnant.

“In the abstract, "Pregnancy Testing Rates Among Adolescent Emergency Department Patients," researchers reviewed National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data from 2000 to 2009 on female patients aged 14 to 21 who were examined in a hospital ED.”

Pregnancy testing

There were 77 million young girls who visited the ER room during that time and only 18.7 percent were tested for pregnancy. Only 27.9 percent of these girls who were tested for pregnancy were tested because they were going to have radiation tests, which could cause damage to a fetus. Another shocking finding was the disparities over who got testing based on race, age and insurance benefits.

Monika Goyal, MD, FAAP, one of the researchers was surprised to find very few pregnancy testing is done on this very vulnerable age group. She was particularly surprised to find that girls who were given some sort of radiation treatment like a chest X-ray, or CT scan were not tested for pregnancy before the tests were performed.

Pregnancy risks

The Health Physics Society state, “The 10-day rule was established by the International Commission on Radiological Protection to minimize the potential for performing x-ray exams on pregnant women. The basis of the rule was to do abdominal and pelvic x-ray exams only during the 10 days following the onset of menstruation. We know much more today about radiation and pregnancy, and we know that substantial doses (~10 rem; more than is received from routine diagnostic medical x-ray exams) are necessary to cause birth defects or malformations. Since organogenesis starts 3 to 5 weeks postconception, it was felt that radiation exposure in early pregnancy couldn't result in malformation. Now the focus is shifted to a missed period and the possibility of pregnancy. If there is a missed period, a female should be considered pregnant unless proved otherwise. In such a situation, every care should be taken to explore other methods of getting the clinical information by performing exams that do not use ionizing radiation.”

The need is ever present to address the health concerns of these young girls and include pregnancy testing especially when” especially among those with higher risk of pregnancy complications”

All photos taken from the public domain

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Adolescent Girls And Pregnancy, Hospital Er, Pregnancy And Radiation Treatment, Pregnancy Testing, Pregnancy Tests, Teenage Pregnancies, Teenage Pregnancy

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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