Did you decline 12 month bloodwork? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!)

<3 Dena

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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I decline it but only because I am aware of the risk factors for lead based paint exposure and we do not have any exposure. I am also not worried about anemia. A finger stick is relatively painfree and will give you some info on anemia, if it seems low then you could do the bloodwork. My children were breastfed at that age and getting other sources of iron so I didn't feel any concern. Sometimes the docs will try to tell you that breastmilk doesn't have enough iron but LLL and Kellymom have info on that. While breastmilk is lower in iron than formula or milk it is more available and better used by the child's body.

Drawing blood on a small child is not painless and I feel it is traumatic. I worked in hospitals and had to help hold down children and I won't put my own through that unless there is a medical emergency or need for surgery.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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I would not decline the bloodwork. Yes, it is "just to check" but for some non-negligible percentage of children the results do come back abnormal. And I would want to find out that way, even if it involves a small amount of pain, instead of waiting until the effects of high lead or low iron became pronounced enough to notice without the test.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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I would decline it. If you're really worried about anemia, you can prick the finger to see. If that's abnormal, then do the blood testing.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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Please get lead tested. Lucy's lead poisoning was caught at that 12-month blood test. Her lead was so high that she had to be admitted to the pediatric unit in the hospital that day and began a 19-day oral chelation protocol (outpatient). It was horrible. Lead poisoning is serious stuff, and if you think that you're immune because your kid isn't chewing on windowsills, think again.

Sorry to be so strident, but I feel really strongly about this. The blood test caught her lead poisoning early, and the chelation reduced her levels immensely, and hopefully she won't have any residual developmental issues. Chances are your son will test out fine, but I vote "better safe than sorry" on this one.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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I had it done, and feel very strongly that I made the right decision. Even at low levels, lead can cause irreversible damage to a growing child's brain. The cost-benefit ratio really made sense to me.

My daughter was not greatly distressed by the blood draw. She just made one little distressed sound, and then it was over and she was fine. You can ask for a little EMLA cream if you're worried - it's a topical anesthetic that numbs the skin.

One thing that really seems to help for blood draws and shots is if my husband and I hold our daughter ourselves, rather than having a nurse or technician hold her down. I sit her on my lap, tuck her feet between my knees, and one hand while her father holds the other hand and looks into her eyes. We explain what is going to happen in a calm voice and using simple terms. Minimizing fear in this way really helps to minimize pain - procedures hurt much more when children are tense and scared.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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they didn't offer, but i would decline it unless you feel he has either.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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We have it done (lead test)...it's only a finger prick at our practice, but the arm draw is more accurate. You can request a topical numbing agent if that would help (my little hates being forced to hold still...it's not the pain that bugs her, it's the "not moving"). But as the news stories show...lead can trun anywhere. Dust in the house, dirt on the street near traffic or an old home, in the water, paint, soft plastic products (like extension cords or holiday lights), crayons, etc.

Lead poisoning is treatable if caught early, and that's worth a yearly finger prick or arm draw.

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Old 08-14-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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We haven't done it, but that's mostly because we just haven't gotten around to it. The ped brought it up at our last appt and said to just drop by the lab when it was convenient. She also said none of her kids have had it done; she hasn't gotten around to it either. I guess if it isn't that important to her, I'm not going to get too worried about it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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I did not decline it. They did an arm draw with a butterfly needle, and she didn't flinch. Did not like holding still, however. She sat in my lap, and it was over in seconds. The lab tech told me that a finger prick can be more painful due to the squeezing that sometimes has to happen to get enough blood out. I found out we have to work on her iron better with diet, so I'm not sorry we did it. I thought we were doing well (breastfed, ate variety of food), but guess not as well as I thought. Lead is also not just about old paint. There are a lot of environmental factors at work. I was also surprised at our lead level, and we live in a new house!
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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I declined it at first, then ended up having it done later. I was terrified to have it done because of how traumatized she would be. I took her to a children's hospital to have the blood drawn. It took forever to get her in (we waited a REALLY long time in the waiting room), but I think it was worth it. They were VERY good at getting blood from such a young child.

They had these reclining seats that they had me sit in and hold her, so that it wasn't like we were holding her down on a table. She was much more relaxed that way, I think. My DD is terrified of any kind of medical person, and she started crying as soon as she saw the woman in her scrubs, and started squirming and crying when she tried to touch her...but she didn't cry any harder or differently when she actually had the blood drawn, which tells me it didn't hurt her very much, or she'd have been screaming. As soon as it was over, they gave her a sticker and she calmed right down.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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We had it done with the fingerstick method. Really, it wasn't a big deal. (And, I'm BIG on minimizing tests, delaying vaxes etc...)

She wasn't thrilled about it, but recovered once we left the office.

I agree with PP about the lead issue. Catch it early or really suffer the consequences.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll make sure to ask at our next appointment about the finger prick. I am totally open to that and I think it is a great idea! Thanks!

<3 Dena

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Old 08-14-2007, 11:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DklovesMkandJK View Post

Anyway....long story short - did anyone else decline the bloodwork? Did you do it and are glad you did?
I had no idea that this was even done. We stopped taking Little Guy to well baby visits at six months when we realized the only reason to take him was for vaccinations (which we're delaying and being selective). Baby Girl was born at home and besides FIL has never been seen by a doctor.

I'll have to look at the symptons of lead poisoning.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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another baby with high lead levels here, i would also encourage you to get it done, both of these can be done with a finger prick but in my opinion, one blood draw done by someone with expereince is MUCH less traumatic then a finger prick for 2 tests (the lead test by finger prick requires a decent amount of blood so it can take awhile and involve lots of pulling and pushing on the finger to get as much as you need) we do lead levels every month, we use EMLA (lidocaine topical numbing cream) DS sits in my lap and i hold out his arm and it just takes a minute, he is fine by the time we are out of the room. good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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wow, ds's ped gave us a lead questioner, but never had him tested, maybe i should...
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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mosts peds use one of those, and most of the questions are to assess your risk of exposure to lead paint/water/soil in and around your home. But, the FDA and whoever else 'THEY' are, are finding lots of lead in lots of stuff made in china, painted toys, vinyl material and cheap metal and painted plastic jewelry. so, yeah, a lead test wouldn't be inappropriate for anyone!
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post
My children were breastfed at that age and getting other sources of iron so I didn't feel any concern. Sometimes the docs will try to tell you that breastmilk doesn't have enough iron but LLL and Kellymom have info on that. While breastmilk is lower in iron than formula or milk it is more available and better used by the child's body.
A quick comment on this... after DD came back with borderline anemia results, I read a lot on the subject. She was exclusively breastfed for 7.5 months, and I thought this would protect her. Turns out, the minute they have any food other than BM, it becomes more difficult for their bodies to absorb the iron and more important that they get it from other sources in their diets.

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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I would definitely decline. I've never heard of routine bloodwork for a 12-month-old. We try to avoid medical procedures all together unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:25 AM
 
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I would most certainly recommend 12-month bloodwork. As others have noted, there are many sources of lead besides lead paint, and it is virtually impossible to be certain that your child has no level of exposure. Mine had elevated levels despite having no lead paint in our apartment whatsoever.

Please be aware that lead exposure is not simply a matter of having "lead poisoning" or not. Lead exposure is a spectrum and the higher the levels, the more severe and noticeable the effects. However, cognitive deficits have been found even at very low levels of exposure. For this reason, the federal government has for years been lowering the threshold at which lead levels are considered safe; in the years ahead it will probably be lowered even further, from 10 to 5.

Please also be aware that high lead levels are not something you can "sense" or "feel" through motherly intuition. Your child may not evince any overt symptoms of lead poisoning, and yet may be carrying high levels of lead in his/her blood which will subtly affect his/her cognitive functioning for life.

There are virtually no risks to this procedure, and many find that a blood draw (the more accurate test) is less painful than the fingerprick. My daughter shed not a tear at either of her draws.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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lead testing is REALLY important and any one who thinks their child has no risk for exposure should start looking at the huge lists of toys being recalled and all the seemingly safe products that we now know might be posioning them. I would NEVER decline the 12 month lead test and really can not fathom why anyone would.

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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I declined the blood draw for lead, but I did do the finger prick for iron levels. If I had it to do over again, I would have declined the iron check too.

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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I swear I replied to this.

Anyway, there is no need to hold your baby down for this. He can sit on your lap and you hold him tightly. A good nurse/tech will have it done quickly and you will be on your way.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
Imany find that a blood draw (the more accurate test) is less painful than the fingerprick.

We found this to be true for our DD. We had a terrible lab TRY to get the lead test and RAST done and they did a finger prick. Little did we know the RAST test required I think 2-3 LARGE vials. The guy didn't take enough blood for either test but he milked the blood out of DD for what felt like an eternity. She was hysterical the whole time. I felt awful. Plus her finger kept opening and bleeding all day.

When we found out we had to repeat it, we put it off for months. But the thing is we NEEDED to do the test. DH is a locksmith and we cosleep so I figure we have a pretty good chance of exposure. Plus she was reacting to food.

We went to the childrens hospital to have the test done. We held DD ourselves. It was done in half the time of the first test and DD barely cried. She didn't even flinch when the inserted the needle (I looked).
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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My son did not cry or squirm or anything - he watched, no pain, and really liked the bandaid he had been shown that he would get when it was over. The tech, a big guy from the islands, sang him thhis funny song and he was smiling.

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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Hmm...My son just had his twelve month check up today and they never mentioned any bloodwork. Here are my thoughts if they had...If your bfing there should be no worriers about anemia (trust me!) . And lead poisoning is only a concern if you live in a building old enough to have lead pipes or paint. Only you know what's best for your little one.

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Old 08-15-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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Lead isn't "just" in old paint or pipes! It can show up in all sorts of odd places...

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/...lead/lead.html
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/leadsafe/products.htm
http://www.health.state.ny.us/enviro...ad_sources.htm

Some highlights:
batteries
car seat covers
holiday lights
flexible plastics (like the cord to your vacuum or computer)
plastic miniblinds
pvc products (including "safety bumpers" for furniture)
VDU and TV screens
crayons and chalk
food packaging, plastic wrappers, color printed cardboard boxes
colored ink from printers
soil exposed to current lead sources (renovation or remodeling upwind, manufacturing upwind) OR to gas fumes in the 70s (the lead simply collects so if the dirt was exposed to traffic during the era of leaded gas it's still contaminated)

Oh, and lead solder was only banned in the US in 1986 (same time lead content in plumbing lines was regulated)...so if your home was built prior to 1986 then that is another area of concern.

If you choose not to test, that's your choice. But please don't assume that your child isn't exposed to lead on a daily basis just because of where you live.

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Old 08-15-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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They don't do routine blood work at 12 months here.

My daughter needed blood work done for health reasons, and it was absolutely horrific.

I would think very hard about doing it.

Seeing as it is not routine here, and we don't have larger amounts of children with lead or iron problems, I have to wonder how necessary these tests are. I'll have to look into further.

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Old 08-15-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
I would most certainly recommend 12-month bloodwork. As others have noted, there are many sources of lead besides lead paint, and it is virtually impossible to be certain that your child has no level of exposure. Mine had elevated levels despite having no lead paint in our apartment whatsoever.

Please be aware that lead exposure is not simply a matter of having "lead poisoning" or not. Lead exposure is a spectrum and the higher the levels, the more severe and noticeable the effects. However, cognitive deficits have been found even at very low levels of exposure. For this reason, the federal government has for years been lowering the threshold at which lead levels are considered safe; in the years ahead it will probably be lowered even further, from 10 to 5.

Please also be aware that high lead levels are not something you can "sense" or "feel" through motherly intuition. Your child may not evince any overt symptoms of lead poisoning, and yet may be carrying high levels of lead in his/her blood which will subtly affect his/her cognitive functioning for life.

There are virtually no risks to this procedure, and many find that a blood draw (the more accurate test) is less painful than the fingerprick. My daughter shed not a tear at either of her draws.

I'm going to show this thread to my husband. Thanks OP for bringing it up .

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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We also had a questionnaire to fill out and they didn't mention anything further about it. No offers/suggestions were made at all to get his blood drawn and tested for lead.
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