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Lead Poisoning and Screening
Pages 1 (251 words)
American children may still be exposed to lead poisoning, a major cause of disability and death. Lead blood levels can be measured and screened in children, and the American Nurses Association (ANA) now supports a threshold of 10 g/dL, given that side effects may be present within this range.
Symptoms can range from non-specific complaints to fatal complications, particularly affecting intelligence, language, and attention. Acute poisoning is a medical emergency. During pregnancy, toxicity may cause miscarriages, stillborns, and malformations.
Several plans to eradicate lead poisoning in children have emerged; it is crucial to identify and eradicate sources, and to screen and follow-up high risk children. The ANA recommends screening children under age six prioritize high risk populations, educate parents regarding prevention and emergency care, and funding public health programs. Also, reducing the entry of lead into the environment and research strategies are supported by ANA. Primary prevention is the most important measure.
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