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Chelation Therapy

 

Your child's doctor or nurse practitioner has recommended chelation therapy to help lower your child's high lead level. Chelation means giving a medicine called EDTA which helps the body get rid of the lead.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Arrive at the Admitting Office (near the main lobby). Bring your child's favorite toy or blanket if you wish.
After completing the admitting paperwork, you will be directed to the pediatric floor.

On the pediatric floor, a nurse will ask some questions about your child's health, and take your child's temperature and blood pressure.

A blood sample will be taken from your child's arm.

In some cases, the doctor will request and X-Ray of the child's abdomen.

One of the doctors will talk with you and examine your child.

A nurse will start an "IV", usually in your child's hand or arm. In the evening the medicine will be started, and will run for about 12 hours through the night. In the morning, the tubing will be disconnected. During the rest of the day, your child will be free to play in his/her room or in the playroom, as long as you or another adult can supervise. In the evening, for a total of 5 nights, the medication will again be given through the night.

Your child should drink plenty of fluids while receiving the medicine. Juices, milk, and popsicles will be available. Meals will be provided for your child.

You are encouraged to stay with your child as much as possible, including overnight, if you wish. Sleeper chairs are provided, and a shower is available for parents who stay overnight.

If you have other children, please make child care arrangements at home for them, however they may visit for part of the day.

The Social Work Coordinator from the Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment Center will talk with you about lead poisoning, where lead can be found, and things you can do to keep your child from getting more lead in his/her body.

The Social Worker will talk with you about any problems with housing, transportation, child care, or other concerns you may have.

While your child is in the Hospital, the Health Department in your county will inspect your home for lead sources. The homeowner or landlord will be asked to correct any lead violations. Your child cannot be discharged until a lead-safe home can be arranged.

Chelation therapy will lower the lead level, but it is not a cure for lead poisoning! The most important thing to do is to avoid any further exposure to lead. To do so you must follow the advice from you doctor, the social work Coordinator, and the Health Department.

Your child will need to have a repeat lead test as recommended by your doctor.