Lead (Pb) Lab Test

Lead (Pb)
Book Lab Test At Home
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What is a Lead Pb Test?

A lead Pb test is a test done to identify if there are high levels of lead in your bloodstream. A lead test cost is fairly reasonable and is available in most clinics. If there are high levels of lead in your blood then it leads to lead poisoning. It can damage the mental growth and abilities of a child and also cause organ damage.

What is lead? It is a soft metal present on earth. When this is ingested, inhaled or consumed in some form by a human it can cause damage to the brain and other organs. Low levels of lead can also cause irreparable damage and in infants, it can cause permanent cognitive impairment, stomach pain and kidney and nervous system.

Why do I need Lead Pb Test?

An exposure to lead can be very harmful to both adults and children. In children sometimes, it could affect mental development, especially in a neonatal or prenatal situation.

 Lead symptoms can also lead to poisoning and it could be very dangerous. They are mentioned below

  • Fatigue
  • Neurological effects
  • Irritability
  • Malaise
  • Hearing loss
  • Reduced concentration
  • Personality changes
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Problems with sleep
  • Gastrointestinal effects
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach aches
  • Intermittent abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual taste in the mouth
  • Reproductive effects
  • Miscarriages/stillbirths
  • Decreased libido
  • Reduced sperm count & motility
  • abnormal sperm
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Hypertension

What other tests might I have along with Lead Pb Test?

Once the results are in, the doctor will advise you on any other tests that may be necessary upon diagnosis of a condition.

What do my test results mean?

You can expect the results of the lead blood test within 2-3 days.

How is Lead Pb Test done?

A blood test to check the levels of lead may be done by a doctor or a technician in a lab, to understand the leading cause of lead poisoning in the blood. This is called a blood draw or venepuncture.

This is usually done with the technician cleaning a small patch of the area from which the blood needs to be drawn to make sure there is no infection. The technician will also tie an elastic band around your arm so that the blood flows easily and it is easier to collect.

It is usually taken by location a vein in the inside of the ar by using a sterile needle. Once a sample is removed the technician will apply a bandage for the wound to keep it from bleeding and prevent bruising.

There is no way to conduct a home lead test as a blood sample needs to be collected unless a technician or doctor can come and take a sample at home from the patient.

Once the doctor has identified if there is lead poisoning the most common treatment recommended for children or adults is to eliminate or minimize the source of the exposure. In severe cases sometimes the doctor recommends chelation therapy.

Does Lead Pb Test pose any risk?

The risk of giving a blood sample for the lead test is very minimal. Some of the possible risks may be multiple puncture wounds if the vein is not found while drawing blood, feeling light-headed, excessive bleeding, hematoma(collection of blood under the skin) and infection.

What might affect my test results?

If you have a young child or children between the age of 1-3 years are most prone to getting exposed to lead. A blood test will indicate the lead normal range and also if there is an abnormality.

Adults and children who are generally at risk if there are

  • From low-income families
  • Live in large metropolitan areas
  • Living in older homes especially the ones built in the 1950s

Apart from this the other risk factors of exposure for lead poisoning include

  • Lead paints and glazes
  • Imported make-up and jewellery
  • Soil and water exposed to lead paint, gasoline or lead pipes
  • Contaminated food
  • Folk remedies using azarcon and greta
  • Working in smelting facilities
  • Working in auto or construction and repair industries

Sample Required

Specimen type: Blood Sample

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture (Usually collected from a vein the arm)

How do I prepare for the test?

Usually, this test does not require any fasting before taking it, as long as you usually follow a healthy nutrition diet. No other special preparation is required apart from letting your doctor know about any medical allergies or over the counter medications, herbal supplements, any fitness supplements, drugs you may be taking.

Understanding results of Lead (Pb)

Reference RangeInterpretation
25 to 49.9 µg/dlExposure removal if symptomatic
Less than 23 µg/LNormal(URINE)
50 to 79.9 µg/dlImmediate evaluation
80 & AboveChelate
00 to 9.9 µg/dl*No additional action
10 to 24.9 µg/dlIdentify and minimize exposure

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Conclusion

When there is a high level of lead in the blood, especially in children, lead treatment should be sought immediately. Adults generally have a higher threshold for lead poisoning, but if the exposure is too high then the doctor recommends a chelation therapy.

References

  1. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lead
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/conditions/lead-poisoning