Few teens undergo pregnancy testing in the emergency department

October 19, 2012

Few adolescent females undergo pregnancy testing in the hospital emergency department (ED), even when they complain of lower abdominal pain, or before they are exposed to radiation for tests or examinations, according to an abstract presented Friday, Oct. 19, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

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.

Of the 77 million girls who visited an ED over the nine-year period, just 14.5 million (18.7 percent) were tested for pregnancy. Of the patients reporting abdominal pain, 42.3 percent were tested for pregnancy, and of those receiving radiologic imaging, 21.5 percent were tested. Of patients exposed to radiation that could cause birth defects (such as a chest radiograph or CT scan), only 27.9 percent received a pregnancy test. In addition, disparities in testing were noted based on age, race and insurance type.

"We were surprised to find that pregnancy testing occurred infrequently," said study author Monika Goyal, MD, FAAP. "It was particularly concerning that rates of pregnancy testing were low even among females with potential reproductive health complaints or with exposure to radiation through diagnostic testing, like CT scans.

"These findings underscore the need to develop quality improvement interventions to increase pregnancy testing in in the emergency department, especially among those with higher risk of ."

Explore further: EDs should be aware of sexually transmitted infection risk in patients

Related Stories

EDs should be aware of sexually transmitted infection risk in patients

April 30, 2011
All adolescent females who show up in the emergency department (ED) complaining primarily of lower abdominal pain and/or urinary or genital symptoms should be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to ...

Racial differences found in care of children in ED

April 29, 2012
Black children are less likely than white children to receive medication for abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) even when they report severe pain, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies ...

Use of CT scans in emergency rooms increased 330 percent in 12 years

August 10, 2011
A review of national data from 1996 through 2007 reveals a sharp uptick in the use of computed tomography, or CT, scans to diagnose illnesses in emergency departments, a University of Michigan Health System study finds. The ...

Pediatric emergency department visits for psychiatric care on the rise

October 14, 2011
Pediatric patients, primarily those who are underinsured (either without insurance or receiving Medicaid), are increasingly receiving psychiatric care in hospital emergency departments (EDs), according to an abstract presented ...

Race a factor in whether young women are tested for sexually transmitted infections

April 30, 2011
When adolescent females visit a pediatric emergency department with complaints that may signal a sexually transmitted infection (STI), white youths are less likely to be tested than blacks, according to a study to be presented ...

Minority children less likely to receive CT scans following head trauma

October 14, 2011
African-American and Hispanic children are less likely to receive a cranial computed tomography (CT) scan in an emergency department (ED) following minor head trauma than white children, according to an abstract presented ...

Recommended for you

Study shows probiotics can prevent sepsis in infants

August 17, 2017
A research team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has determined that a special mixture of good bacteria in the body reduced the incidence of sepsis in infants in India by 40 percent at ...

Children who sleep an hour less at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, says study

August 15, 2017
A study has found that children who slept on average one hour less a night had higher risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including higher levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance.

Low blood sugars in newborns linked to later difficulties

August 8, 2017
A newborn condition affecting one in six babies has been linked to impairment in some high-level brain functions that shows up by age 4.5 years.

Can breast milk feed a love of vegetables?

August 4, 2017
(HealthDay)—Want your preschooler to eat veggies without a fuss? Try eating veggies while you're breast-feeding.

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect, study estimates

July 24, 2017
Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according to a new study by researchers ...

At the cellular level, a child's loss of a father is associated with increased stress

July 18, 2017
The absence of a father—due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce—has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child. But little is known about the biological processes that underlie this link ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.