LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 6 no 3, 1998, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Medical Lead Awareness:- LEAD Group Campaign

by General Practitioner, Dr Ben Balzer, Vice President of The LEAD Group Inc


Previous programs by Lead Advisory Service (LAS) and the Lead Reference Centre, have developed infrastructure, and have increased community awareness of Lead Poisoning as a major issue.

Expansion and Integration

The 1998-99 Program is based on community empowerment and expansion of awareness, and expansion of case identification by GPs, and integration of action with other community based groups.

Community Empowerment Program

Continue successful outreach (COE, Community Outreach and Education) program of the LAS;

Forge ties with other community organisations eg Childbirth Educators Association, Parents Centres Australia, Centacare Parent line, ACE Associates in childbirth education, Tresillian, Karitane and promote their awareness of lead-related issues.

Medical Awareness Campaign

This campaign aims to increase awareness of lead poisoning amongst doctors and the community alike. The basis is the development of a risk-identification questionnaire, to identify children at risk of lead poisoning by the use of a simple questionnaire. If there is a positive response to any question about a risk factor, then blood testing is medically indicated.

This strategy is a "pull" strategy. It aims to generate the attention of doctors by bringing "at-risk' children to their notice. This is in contrast to "push" strategies such as educational mail-outs.

  • It is aimed for the questionnaire to be issued in the waiting room of the doctor's office, and self-administered by the parent. This has the advantage of taking a minimum of the doctor's time, and also acting as an educational tool for the parent.

  • An essential part of the questionnaire is to include contact numbers for parents and doctors alike to obtain further information, in line with the stated goal of empowerment.

The steps in this program are:

  1. lead the way against leadQuestionnaire development;

  2. Pilot testing – approximately 20 GPs to be recruited, with 4-6 GPs having their pathology provider forward details to us;

  3. Evaluation – the number of questionnaires completed will be compared to the number of blood lead tests generated. Blood lead test results of the 4-6 GPs will be collected and remembering that a small number of people will request a blood lead test WITHOUT a risk factor being present. Co-operation of pathology provider required;

  4. Expansion to further inner city practices;

  5. Regular feedback to doctors;

  6. Continuing education program – evening lectures;

  7. If successful, expansion to further inner city practices, to inner city pharmacies and early childhood centres. Trial of routine administration by early childhood nurses (ECHN's) as part of routine well-child checks. It is likely that ECHN's may be able to run a short trial as a quality assurance exercise;

  8. Further expansion to other metropolitan areas, publication of risk questionnaire in such publications as "Australian Doctor Weekly", local papers, "Sydney's Child" etc…

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Last Updated 26 February 2013
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