Advice for Parents and Child
This leaflet has been produced to give you general information for you and your child prior to your child’s operation / procedure. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your child’s doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for your child.
Please read the information leaflet. Share the information it contains with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support. There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of your child following this examination.
When your child comes into hospital for an operation they will be asked to give a urine sample for a pregnancy test on the morning of the operation. This is something hospitals all across the country are doing and has been specifically recommended as a way of enhancing safety.
Why am I being asked to do this?
Pregnancy testing before surgery is recommended for all patients with female sexual organs aged 12 – 55 years of age. It has no relation to any individual’s circumstances.
I am sure I am not pregnant; must I have the test?
Nobody has to have the pregnancy test. If you and / or your parents decide not to be tested you will be asked to sign a declaration to say you have made that decision. We recommend that even people confident about contraception undertake a pregnancy test.
Why is it important?
The very early stages of pregnancy are the time when an embryo may be most vulnerable to the potential ill effects of medicines, X-rays and anaesthetics. Operations on the abdomen and pelvis can directly affect the womb and operations on other parts of the body may involve medicines that can affect pregnancy.
I do not think this is right for my child.
We hope you will understand that it is better to test every patient with female sexual organs of child bearing age rather than discriminate by asking personal questions. Although there may only be a very small number of pregnancies in this age group, we believe that, based on national guidance, testing all patients of childbearing age is the most effective way of avoiding the risk of harm.
For most young people the test will be negative, showing that they are not pregnant and the procedure can go ahead as planned. For a small number of young people, the test may be positive and we would then have to think very carefully about the best way to proceed and to make sure the right care was organised to help with the pregnancy.
Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.
You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.