Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sat, Dec. 07

Little change seen in rate of teen pregnancies in Mohave County

A call Saturday to Fastrax Urgent Care Center on Stockton Hill Road was answered by a recording stating the facility will be open by April 2004.

It would be the third urgent-care facility in Kingman.

Miner photo/TERRY ORGAN

Workers were setting up equipment and continuing the office remodeling this past week.

There were no Fastrax employees on the premises, nor did any of the workers know how they could be contacted.

On Friday morning, the office was locked.

An employee of the Mohave Mental Health Clinic next door said a number of people had stopped at the clinic during the past several weeks but could not find out when it might open.

She did not know how to contact a Fastrax representative.

A recorded message has played on the care center's phone number at 753-3303.

The female voice states the center will be open in April 2004 with extended hours seven days a week.

She goes on to say the emergency room-trained staff will provide treatment of non-life threatening emergencies for adults and children with X-rays and laboratory tests done on site.

"We accept most major insurances, including AHCCCS," the woman states.

"With no appointment needed and short waiting times, Fastrax Urgent Care offers the Kingman community professional care at a professional pace.

"Please call back or stop in beginning in April."

Messages left on the answering machine were not returned.

Urgent-care services are offered by Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) and the Arizona Institute of Medicine & Surgery (AIMS).

The AIMS Urgent Care Department at 3636 Stockton Hill Road is under the direction of Dr.

Arshad Tariq.

"You don't need an appointment here," Tariq said.

"We treat minor lacerations, cuts and bruises, along with minor to moderate injuries.

We don't put on casts or take ambulance patients, and do non-emergency blood work that is sent out."

Waiting time for walk-in patients is normally less than one hour.

People who are registered with AIMS and have established charts are usually seen in 10 to 20 minutes, Tariq said.

AIMS accepts nearly all insurance except Arizona Physicians Independent Professional Association, Tariq said.

The AIMS Urgent Care Department is open 9 a.m.

to 6 p.m.

daily.

Fees for services range from $65 to $210, said Kimberly Cole, a medical biller at AIMS.

At KRMC, the emergency room never closes.

After assessment of sickness of injury, a patient might be seen in the Fast Track Department for minor medical problems that include sprains, strains, coughs and colds.

Average waiting time in Fast Track is 20 minutes, depending on patient volume, said Ryan Kennedy, KRMC executive director of community services.

"Often patients don't understand that their presenting symptoms could be a sign of something more severe than they suspect," Kennedy said.

"For example, a patient may come in with shoulder pain and seek an anti-inflammatory medication.

Our triage nurse suspects his symptoms may be consistent with a heart attack, and an EKG shows he requires cardiac intervention, so he is immediately sent to our catheterization lab," Kennedy added.

Fast Track fees are based on the amount of time a physician spends caring for the patient, along with tests and procedures done.

Those fees range from $71 to $115.

KRMC is at 3269 Stockton Hill Road.

KINGMAN – Statistics indicate little change during recent years in the rate of teenage pregnancies in Mohave County.

Of the 1,819 births in Mohave County during 2001, six were to girls younger than 15, and 83 were to girls ages 15-17, Arizona Department of Health Services statistics indicate.

Of the 1,983 births in the county during 2002, the most recent year for which information is available, six births were to girls younger than 15 and 97 to girls 15-17.

"Births to mothers under age 20 in Mohave County between 1995 and 2002 stayed pretty much the same," said Jennifer McNally, assistant director of the Mohave County Public Health Department.

"In 1995, 16 percent of births were to mothers under age 20.

That number decreased to a low of 13 percent in 1998, and in 2002 it was 16 percent."

The 3 percent range indicates the teenage birth rate is fairly consistent, she said.

Of the 85,213 births in Arizona during 2001, 198 were to girls younger than 15 and 4,080 to girls 15 to 17, the state Health Department said.

Total births in Arizona during 2002 numbered 87,379.

Of those, 206 were to girls younger than 15 and 3,952 babies were born by mothers in the 15-17 age group.

Christy Bronston, the health department nursing director, said her department tries to educate teens and young women who are considering starting families through its Reproductive Health program.

It entails counseling sessions at local schools or one-on-one sessions at the health department offices downtown.

"There's always a risk of low birth weight among teen mothers," Bronston said.

"In addition, there's a risk of low birth weight from premature labor, which means an infant may not be fully developed and can have medical problems in the respiratory sense or from developmental delays physically."

Kingman Regional Medical Center does not have any programs in place to help teens make informed decisions about pregnancy, said Trish Faulk, the hospital's director of perinatal services.

She was asked about health risks that babies carried by teenage mothers face compared with babies of older women.

"There are no specific risks," Faulk said.

"But it becomes high risk if the teen mother does not seek prenatal care early on, and sometimes they don't.

"As long as the (potential) mother is taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid, I don't see a difference."

Faulk supplied the following information for KRMC: 18 percent of 600 births during 2001 were to females in the 14-19 age range; 21 percent of 627 births during 2002 were in the age group; and 19 percent of 619 births during 2003 were to teen mothers 14-19.

"The nation looks at teenage pregnancy as a problem," Faulk said.

"We teach kids to finish school before they become parents, but we make no judgments here.

We take care of all of them as patients."

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