ALBANY, N.Y. and CHELMSFORD, Mass., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A pediatrician, nurses, and staff from Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services will be on-site at Berlin Elementary School on Monday, December 20th to screen students for elevated blood-lead levels at no charge to the student's family. Magellan Biosciences has donated test kits and loaned the health center four portable LeadCare II analyzers, which provide three-minute blood-lead results from a finger-stick sample. The Berlin Central School District initiated the screening.
Students must have the consent of a parent or guardian before participating in the free testing. While testing is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. If the child's lead screening test result is less than 8 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dl) of whole blood, this is considered below the action level for New York State and no further testing will be required. Any screening blood lead level of 8 ug/dL or higher will be checked again using blood taken from a vein for confirmation, as per New York State guidelines.
"Early detection is the key to preventing further lead absorption," said Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services Chief Medical Officer Kallanna Manjunath, MD, CPE, a board-certified pediatrician. "This test involves a finger-stick with immediate results, and parents will learn about their child's current lead level on the screening day. Parents will be notified about results from any confirmatory tests after a reference lab has evaluated them. We are pleased to be of assistance to the Berlin community and appreciate the generosity of Magellan Biosciences' donation of the LeadCare II systems for the event."
"Once again, when results really matter, the experts in lead poisoning prevention depend on the LeadCare II system's three-minute results to identify those truly at risk of lead poisoning, quickly determine who needs follow-up care, and set parents' minds at ease," said Magellan Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Uchida, Ph.D. "There are no safe levels of lead. Parents are empowered when they know their children's blood-lead level, and learn what they can do to prevent and control future lead poisoning. We are delighted to work with Whitney Young and the Berlin School District on this important screening initiative."
According to Interim Superintendent of the Berlin School District, Dr. Brian Howard, "To date approximately 150 of the school's 415 students have already been tested, and as far as we know, none to date have been identified with blood-lead results of 10ug/dl or higher. The District is committed to ensuring the safety of all school children. Accordingly, we contracted with Whitney Young to test the remaining students who are unable to receive screenings at their primary care provider or are without health insurance."
"I am especially grateful that the Whitney Young Health Center has offered to provide these free lead screenings to all of the students in the Berlin School District," Senator Roy McDonald said. "This is an illustration of just one of the many needs that our rural populations face and it's important that we make the health and well being of these students priority one."
About Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services (www.wmyhealth.org)
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services is a community based, 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation, which provides affordable, accessible primary and preventative medical, dental and addiction services to the uninsured and medically underserved people of the Capital Region. Whitney Young currently operates seven health facilities, including three school-based health centers in Albany City elementary schools. Whitney Young's mission is to provide Capital Region residents with access to consistent quality health care without regard to income. Whitney Young serves more than 21,000 people annually. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.wmyhealth.org.
About the world's only CLIA-waived blood-lead testing system – LeadCare II
Approved by the FDA as a CLIA-waived device in 2006, the CDC funded development of the LeadCare II system because too many children fall through the cracks of prescription-based and send-out methods of blood-lead testing. The LeadCare II system removes all the complications associated with traditional lab-based testing – waiting days for results, or spending precious staff time and resources trying to contact patients for critical follow-up care, or tracking down lab results for record-keeping, reporting, or compliance purposes. An ideal complement to hemoglobin testing, its CLIA-waived status enables a paradigm shift in lead testing: practitioners can test, educate, and take action to confirm elevated results and treat if necessary – instantly, on the spot, and all in one visit during the routine well-child check-up. This approach is convenient and easy for the child, parent, and healthcare provider, and thus, the most-effective way to ensure those at greatest risk for lead poisoning actually receive mandated blood-lead tests. To learn more about LeadCare II, visit www.WaivedLeadCare.com, or call 1 (800) 305-0197.
About Magellan (www.magellanbio.com)
Founded in 2004, Magellan's innovative technologies make diagnostic testing easier, more cost-effective, and less labor intensive. The company's products deliver the timely information that clinicians need to make appropriate treatment decisions and improve outcomes for patients. They include LeadCare®-brand rapid point-of-care systems to screen children and adults for lead poisoning; TREK-brand microbiology products for blood culture and susceptibility testing that help in the global effort to prevent MRSA and other drug-resistant infections; as well as Dynex® -brand automated ELISA processing systems for a wide variety of immunoassays – from infectious disease to autoimmune and food-safety testing. Magellan has approximately 290 employees worldwide.
YOU CAN PREVENT AND CONTROL LEAD POISONING!
Lead sources may include: paint chips, dust, and soil in or around older (pre-1978) buildings, older painted objects leaded glass, crystal, pewter, and ceramic dishes (more likely in painted china and in pottery from Latin America, the Middle East, and India), herbal/traditional remedies and cosmetics from other countries, candy from Mexico, and toys and trinkets. For lead poisoning facts, links to product recall information, and important lead poisoning prevention resources, visit www.LeadPoisonInfo.com.
No amount of lead is safe, so it's important to prevent your child's exposure. The following steps can help:
Keep children away from chipped or peeling paint
- Block it with furniture or cover it with duct tape or contact paper
- Your local health department can provide tips for safe renovations
Wash. Wash. Wash! (Use soap and water)
- Wash your child's hands often after playing, before eating, and before sleeping
- Wash toys, stuffed animals, pacifiers, and bottles often
Wet cleaning and damp dusting your home whenever you see dust (or at least once a week) can help keep young children from eating lead dust. Here's how:
- Always clean with water! NEVER dry wipe, dry dust, or use a dry broom to sweep, which can spread the dust in the air and make the lead hazard worse!
- Use paper towels, a sponge, rag, or mop and dip it in a bucket of clean water. Squeeze the extra water out. Then wipe the area that needs to be cleaned
- Always use two buckets so that you can rinse in a separate bucket of water
- Keep dipping the sponge, rag, or mop in the bucket as you clean. Change rinse water often. (Discard dirty water in toilet – NEVER in your kitchen or bathroom sink)
Help protect children from lead by serving healthy foods and preparing it safely
- Choose foods rich in calcium (e.g. milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach), iron (e.g. beans, meat, eggs, fortified cereals, spinach), and vitamin c (e.g. citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, mango, and papaya)
- If you use tap water for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula – NEVER USE THE HOT WATER FAUCET
- Let tap water run for one minute before you use it to help clear out the lead from old plumbing (remember, if it's going in your child's mouth use the cold water tap!)
SOURCE Magellan Biosciences, Inc.