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Failure To Screen For Pregnancy Could Expose Babies To Radiation

Finding out about a pregnancy after undergoing a procedure at a hospital that could have hurt the baby is a recipe for months of worry. A Philadelphia doctor has released a study showing that adolescent girls and young women who visit the emergency room are not being tested for pregnancy frequently enough, even when they arrive with symptoms that could be a pregnancy indicator.

The nine-year study included 77 million women ages 14 to 21 and showed that only about 18.7% of women overall were given a pregnancy test. Philadelphia birth injury lawyers know that radiation from tests such as CT scans or chest radiographs can cause birth defects like abnormal brain functioning, cancer or deformities. In this study, only 27.9% of women who were set to undergo testing involving radiation were screened for pregnancy.

The Philadelphia doctor who authored the study remarked that some of the most troubling data suggests that women who arrived with issues related to reproductive health still suffered from extremely low pregnancy testing rates. She is now advocating for increased pregnancy testing for women in the emergency department to prevent emergency room negligence.

If a pregnant woman is subjected to radiation that causes birth defects because a medical professional failed to identify that a potential pregnancy might be present, she may be able to recover damages from the medical facility. To succeed in a medical malpractice case, a victim needs to show that a medical professional or company failed to provide the standard of care reasonable in the situation. A victim also needs to show that the failure caused actual injury to the baby. If testing for pregnancy should have been a clear course of action, then the standard of medicine may have been breached.

Women have enough to worry about without the added concern of their doctors failing to adequately care for them. A woman whose baby is injured by her doctor can seek out legal help to make their lives easier moving forward.

Source:, “Pregnancy testing for adolescents lacking in EDs,” Oct. 24, 2012

The attorneys at The Colleran Firm handle serious injury cases caused by health care provider negligence and medical malpractice in Pennsylvania & New Jersey.

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