Potential for Falsely Low Venous Blood Lead Test Results from Magellan LeadCare Analyzers

NH DPHS Health AlertOn June 2, 2017, the NH DHHS issued a health alert regarding falsely low venous blood lead test results from Magellan LeadCare® Analyzers. 

Key Points and Recommendations:

  • Providers should review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HAN (page 3 of the full health alert) about the potential for falsely low blood lead test results when Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare® analyzers are used to test venous blood samples (obtained by direct vein puncture).
  • This appears to be a problem only when testing venous blood samples (not fingerstick or heelstick samples) on these specific analyzers. Magellan LeadCare® analyzers are no longer to be used to test venous blood samples. Providers and laboratories can continue to use the Magellan LeadCare® machines for analysis of capillary (fingerstick or healstick) samples.
  • The CDC is recommending that healthcare providers re-test certain patients, including children younger than 6 years of age as of 5/17/2017, and currently pregnant or lactating women who had venous blood tested with these analyzers. See CDC HAN (page 3 of the full health alert) for more details.
  • The NH Division of Public Health Service’s (DPHS’s), Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, under NH law, receives blood lead test results on all NH residents. We have completed a review of reported blood lead test results and have identified only two healthcare practices or laboratories in New Hampshire that have used Magellan LeadCare® analyzers to test venous blood samples (see table in full health alert).
  • It is also possible that patients could have been tested at out-of-state laboratories or healthcare practices that used Magellan LeadCare® analyzers to test venous blood samples. For this reason, healthcare providers should review how their patients’ blood lead testing was performed to identify whether patients may be affected and potentially need retesting.
  • NH DPHS, however, is working closely with the affected healthcare practices and laboratories, along with other state health department(s), to ensure that patients and providers are appropriately notified.
  • Providers should call the NH DPHS Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program with any questions or concerns: 603.271.1393.

Full DHHS Alert