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Lead tests may have falsely given low results; CDC urges children be retested

Results from Magellan equipment from a venous draw may be inaccurate


Healthcare providers are urged to retest children for lead after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that some tests may have falsely given low results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 6 and younger who had testing taken from the vein with a result of 10 micrograms per deciliter or less that was analyzed using a Magellan diagnostics analyzer be retested.

Nursing mothers who were tested using the same method should also be retested.

The retesting doesn’t apply to capillary draws from the finger or heel at this time.

The Food and Drug Administration believes the issue may date back to 2014.

According to the MDHHS, 1.7 percent of blood tests done in Michigan on children under 6 years old since 2014 were done using Magellan equipment from a venous draw.

The number of potentially impacted results in Flint is 128, the MDHHS said.

“It’s important to remember that lead does not stay in the blood for very long, so a low test result today may not tell you if there was past exposure,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “Talk to your physician to determine if retesting is needed for your child.”

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