Over 140 people in Salina were screened for lead in their blood on Wednesday, on the first day of two days of free blood screenings at the health department. Elevated levels of lead found in blood samples of 32 area children have triggered a Kansas Department of Health and Environment investigation in Salina, and the free blood screenings.
According to the Saline County Health Department, 142 people were screened Wednesday, with approximately 120 finger stick blood screening samples taken. They currently have supplies on hand for 200 blood tests and are in the process of trying to get more.
The department is conducting lead screening using the same questions as the Kan-Be-Healthy Lead Screening Questionnaire, with a focus on those that have risk factors for lead poisoning. The screening process includes:
- Patient Questionnaire to identify risk-factors.
- If risk-factors are identified, then a blood sample is taken and sent to KDHE for processing.
- If the screening sample is positive, then the family will have to make an appointment with their primary care physician to have a venous confirmation test completed.
- Case management is conducted and tailored based on the results of the confirmation test.
- If there are no risk-factors, then a blood sample is not required.
With limited resources both locally and at KDHE, blood screening samples for those that do not have any risk factors according to the Lead Screening Questionnaire would quickly exhaust the available sampling resources and unnecessarily prolong testing results for those that do have identified risk factors.
If the health department should not be able to get more blood screening materials, then they will set up follow up appointments or times with those that do need the blood screening.
Anyone over age 6 months can be screened for lead; results may take 10 days to be processed.
Screening hours on Thursday are 8:00 AM– 5:00 PM. Go to Conference Room A, located on the West Side of the building (facing the library).