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

Injuries from window blinds send two children to the emergency department every day

December 11, 2017
Most homes have them. They help keep our rooms warm or cold and even add a pop of color to tie the décor together. But window blinds can cause serious injuries or even death to young children. A new study from the Center ...

Blood flow altered in brains of preterm newborns vs. full-term infants

December 4, 2017
Cerebral blood flow (CBF) of key regions of newborns' brains is altered in very premature infants and may provide an early warning sign of disturbed brain maturation well before such injury is visible on conventional imaging, ...

HPV vaccine is effective, safe 10 years after it's given

November 29, 2017
A decade of data on hundreds of boys and girls who received the HPV vaccine indicates the vaccine is safe and effective long term in protecting against the most virulent strains of the virus, researchers report.

Antibiotics administered during labor delay healthy gut bacteria in babies

November 28, 2017
Antibiotics administered during labour for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) affect the development of gut bacteria in babies, according to a study from McMaster University.

Stress in pregnancy linked to changes in infant's nervous system, less smiling, less resilience

November 23, 2017
Maternal stress during the second trimester of pregnancy may influence the nervous system of the developing child, both before and after birth, and may have subtle effects on temperament, resulting in less smiling and engagement, ...

Molecules in spit may be able to diagnose and predict length of concussions

November 20, 2017
Diagnosing a concussion can sometimes be a guessing game, but clues taken from small molecules in saliva may be able to help diagnose and predict the duration of concussions in children, according to Penn State College of ...

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.