Lead testing machines to be used in Mount Isa

PARENTS will soon be able to get young children’s lead levels tested at primary health care providers and at the North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS).

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer has funded four lead testing machines, valued at approximately $4,000 each.

NWHHS maternal child and youth health nurse manager Kerri O’Connor said the new testing method is faster and less invasive than a venous blood test.

“The point of care finger prick test with these machines will only take a few minutes, and the results will be available in 15 minutes,” Ms O’Connor said. 

“We are aiming to offer the test at the same time as giving immunisations – at age six months, 12 months, 18 months and three-and-a-half years, but children can still be tested up to five years in age,” Ms O’Connor said.

The four machines will be used by Gidgee Healing, Sonic Health Plus- Mount Isa GP Super Clinic, and the NWHHS Child Health Services and Paediatric Outpatients.

The lead level testing will be available from October. Ms O’Connor said the reliable tests have been used in Broken Hill for 20 years.

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