With the new Fisher Price recalls for lead based paint in kids plastic toys made in china... I'd do it...
post #41 of 160
8/15/07 at 10:41am
Jack's Pedi (who was mine pedi and more like family than anything else, I feel is a pretty reasonable guy - understanding of AP and very supportive of us leaving J intact) advised us to get 12 month bloodwork for Jack.
He said it was to check for lead and anemia. I was on the fence about it until he said that it was only two vials and he would only have to be held down for a minute. I'm a pretty big fan of minimizing any pain and just couldn't put him through it considering it was a 'just to check' thing versus something he really needed. (so far he is up to date on vaxes and Pedi feels really strongly about that - I am starting to do research)
Anyway....long story short - did anyone else decline the bloodwork? Did you do it and are glad you did?
(It's only coming up now because our next well baby check is coming up soon and I have the sneaking suspicion it's going to come up!)
|Why is this done? I've never heard of such a routine blood drawing from any other country.|
|In actuality, routine screening of children for this hazard is simply good medicine. This has been well known in the scientific and pediatric communities for over 25 years. Lead is by far the most common and important environmental toxic hazard affecting the health of children in the USA today.
Overt symptomatic poisoning with lead can be quite a dramatic event. It often involves irritation of the brain with vomiting, convulsions, and coma. Fortunately, few kids nowadays get to that point. The prevalent form of Lead Poisoning today is quiet and insidious. It produces symptoms which are subtle (irritability, personality change, sleep and appetite disturbance) if they are present at all. Nonetheless, it yet can lead to marked anemia, developmental delays, poor growth, and permanent impairment of intelligence and learning ability.
|A normal lead level is zero. The human body has no use for it at all. One must go to a remote un-industrialized area to find someone with a zero level however. Most of us in the US and other industrialized countries have levels between 3-10mcg/dl, no matter our age. It takes levels above 80 to produce the dramatic symptoms described above, and below 40 a child will usually have no obvious symptoms at all. Unfortunately, the more research that is done the lower the level of lead which is shown to be harmful. We have been essentially unable to find a "lower limit" below which lead can be shown to be "safe". In the '70's we used to define 40 as the "toxic limit". In the '80's that was lowered first to 35, and then to 25. In the late '80's clearly harmful long term effects on intelligence and learning ability were demonstrated even for levels between 10-25. In the early '90's the "legal" definition of lead poisoning was again lowered to 10 reflecting this new medical knowledge.
Previously, testing mandated by the state was satisfied by a blood test known as the "FEP". While not a direct measure of blood lead, the FEP was used for many years as a "screen" because it was cheaper than an actual lead level and was reliably elevated in children whose lead levels were over 25. It could also be done by "finger stick" with accurate results. Things other than lead (notably iron deficiency) can also raise the FEP, so if the FEP was high actual lead and iron levels were then done by venipuncture. Unfortunately, lead levels between 10-25 will NOT elevate the FEP. Our new knowledge of the danger of such levels thus rendered the FEP test obsolete, and it has not been used for the past 5-6 years. We now do actual lead levels.