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The Informed Parent

Scanning The Journals: Lead; Vaccines; Hepatitis

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Jan. 01, 1997

Lead Levels in High-risk and Low-risk Young Children in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area, J. Nordin, M.D., S. Rolnick, PhD, E. Ehlinger, M.D., A. Nelson, M.P.H., T. Arneson, M.D., L. Cherney-Stafford, M.P.H., J. Griffin

PEDIATRICS, Vol. 101, #1, Jan. 98, p. 72

Sanity returns. This paper concludes not all children need lead screening. This is something many pediatricians knew for a long time. It also gives some reasonable guidelines that indicate when screening should be done. These criteria are: (1) children living in the central city or in housing built before 1950. (2) children with a previous history of lead poisoning or living with children who have lead poisoning.

In general, if you have any questions about the need for your children to have blood lead levels contact your pediatrician. Your child's physician will be aware of local risks of lead exposure and prevalence of elevated lead levels.

A Comparative Efficacy Trial in Germany in Infants Who Received Either the Lederle/ Takeda Acellular Pertussis Component DTP (DTaP) Vaccine, the Lederle Whole-Cell Component DTP Vaccine, or DT Vaccine, K. Stehr, M.D., J. Cherry, M.D., U. Heininger, M.D., S. Schmitt-Grohe, M.D., M. Uberall, M.D., S. Laussucq, M.D., T. Eckhardt, PhD., M. Meyer, M.D., R. Engelhardt, Dr.PH, P. Christenson, PhD., Pertussis Vaccine Study Group.

PEDIATRICS, Vol. 101, #1, Jan. 98, p.1

This study shows the new vaccine "acellular DPT" is not only free of side effects so commonly seen with the old DPT but also is effective in providing protection against pertussis (whooping cough) in addition to diphtheria and tetanus. The past concerns of reactions to the DPT vaccine are essentially eliminated with the advent of this newer vaccine. The phrase "good old times" does not apply to the immunization programs. Today is much better in this aspect of medicine.

Exacerbation of Autoimmune Hepatitis: Another Hepatotoxic Effect of Pemoline Therapy, PEDIATRICS, Vol. 101, #1, Jan. 98, p. 106

This article presents another case of severe liver failure in a patient receiving Cylert for ADHD. The concern of liver malfunction in patients on this drug seems to be ever growing.

The manufacturers caution against using this drug as a first-line therapy for ADHD. If your child is using this drug please discuss this potentially serious matter with the prescribing physician.

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