Instruments to Help Flint Physicians Quickly Test Patients’ Lead Exposure
BILLERICA, MA, January 22, 2016 – As the developer of a diagnostic system that tests patients for lead exposure in physician offices, Magellan Diagnostics is taking action to help in Flint, MI. The Michigan State and Genesee County Health Departments have responded to the crisis caused by lead in the city’s drinking water by asking pediatricians to test all children up to age 6 who consumed Flint city water after April 2014. In collaboration with the county health department, Magellan is loaning its CLIA-waived LeadCare II systems to practices in Flint to expand access to testing.
“It is critical to identify and monitor kids who have been exposed to lead. Our system is the fastest and easiest way to do this - it’s simple to run, and in three minutes the doctor has an answer. People with potential exposure in Flint should have access to testing,” said Amy Winslow, president and CEO of Magellan Diagnostics. “We are proud to partner with Genesee County and other community groups who want to implement screening programs. Too many people think lead exposure is a thing of the past. As Flint has shown, it still lurks in our environment and can cause major, lasting health issues.”
In her January 19th
letter to pediatricians, Eden Wells, MD, MPH, FACPM, Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wrote, “We appreciate your focused attention to efforts to identify, screen, diagnose and follow-up on children in the City of Flint who may have been exposed… we hope you take advantage of this resource to expand capabilities within your practice.”
Providers interested in testing with LeadCare II can call Magellan at 800-305-0197 for information and assistance. Concerned parents should ask their pediatricians or local health department for an on-site test, and can learn more at www.leadcare2.com/Families-and-Communities
About Lead Poisoning
Children who are exposed to lead are more likely to have headaches, lowered IQ, attention-related issues, behavior problems, slowed growth, and hearing difficulties. Once a child has been diagnosed, the most important intervention is finding the source of exposure and eliminating it. At very high levels (above 45 micrograms lead per deciliter blood) a specialist may use chelation therapy to cause the lead to be excreted in the urine. For lower levels of exposure, there are supportive interventions that can help, such as ensuring a good diet with proper nutrition – plenty of Vitamin C, calcium and iron. Getting a developmental assessment can also assist in creating a plan for neurodevelopmental and learning support.
About Magellan Diagnostics, Inc.
is a medical device company that provides point-of-care systems, clinical laboratory instruments, and analytical laboratory services focused on lead testing. Headquartered outside Boston in Billerica, Massachusetts, Magellan is dedicated to offering high-quality, reliable products that help identify children and adults at risk of harm due to lead exposure. We are committed to educating clinicians, policy makers, payers, families and communities about the permanent health damage caused by lead and how to detect and address lead exposure.