Holistic andProfessional Nursing
Leadpoisoning is a common health problem among the American children.Lead can be found in dust, soil, paint, pottery, and other items.Lead is a neurotoxin and may cause adverse effects to human health,especially the children. Individuals affected may suffer from alteredcognition, behavior, reduction in attention span, and intelligence.Children face higher risks of lead poisoning and its adverse effectsdue to their age-related habits of putting objects in their mouths(Center for Disease Control, 2016). Again, a child`s brain is moresusceptible and vulnerable to toxic effects of the metal. Leadpoisoning refers to a type of metal poisoning caused by an increasein the level of lead compounds, which consequent becomes toxic to thevital organs and tissues of the body for example, the nervous andreproductive system, kidney, heart and bones. Detroit is a city ofconcern with Children accounting for 50% of total lead intake. Forthis paper, the aggregate is children living in Detroit, Michigan,who are exposed to lead poisoning.
Description ofthe Aggregate
Inthe United States, Detroit ranks fourth among the main cities forchildren suffering from lead poisoning (Jain, 2015). Over the years,lead poisoning among children in the city has consistently accountedfor approximately 50% of the total lead intake. Data provided toindividuals within Public Health Department indicate that the numberof children suffering from the menace continues to increase comparedto other parts of Michigan. This data forms the basis for comparisonwith the Healthy People 2020 data, which indicate that the rates inthe city remain higher compared with the rest of the towns.
The information gathered from questionnaires distributed to theparents and authorities in Detroit indicate that the principal causesof lead poison were as a result of lead paint found in most of theold buildings within the city. Others sources paint were artworks,the presence of lead pipes, ceramic items, lead-based paint,cosmetics, stained glass, soil and dust, and pottery (Center forDisease Control, 2016). Data from the Detroit Water and SewageDepartment (DWSD) showed that majority of houses in the city builtduring the World War II had most of their materials made of lead.
Detroit Department of Health released a health data report on leadpoisoning that identified ways in which children in the city wereaffected. The report listed these effects to include delayed growthand development, increasing dental caries, altered cognition andhealth, impaired hearing, effects on the nervous system, reading andbehavior problems, and disabilities of learning (Jain, 2015). Centerfor Disease Control (2016) reported that higher levels of lead –more than 100 mcg/dl exposure – cause mental retardation, seizures,coma, and even death. As much as long-term exposure to lead inchildren causes decreased survival of red blood cells and theprevention of hemoglobin formation. Consequently, chronic lowexposure levels of lead can result in insomnia, hyperactivity, andupper extremity weaknesses.
The advantages include the availability of local, state, and nationalresources. Some of the local resources include the Eastern MichiganUniversity Nursing students who continue to visit public schools toinform about health. Others include the Department of CommunityHealth in Michigan, Department of Wayne County Community Health, andDetroit Department of Health. Additionally, these resources compriseof the locals working for environmental justice, which is a taskforce studying any lead contamination effects from the environmentand soil and Lead Partnership in Detroit – a group of citizens,community organizations, and government officials whose primaryconcern is lead poisoning.
Detroit faces a serious issue of lead poisoning, especially inchildren. Interventions towards solving the issue are curtailed bythe residents` lack of knowledge to decipher the actual causes oflead prevalence. For instance, the weaknesses emanate from certainsituations, which result in a continuous increase in lead contentaround the city. Other defects include a slow response by the medicalteam due to insufficient funds to carry out the necessary responses.
Children from Detroit, Michigan, are at higher risk of lead poisoningdue to some reasons. The immature brain of these children is moresusceptible to the neurotoxic effects of this metal. Children alsohave increased the tendency to take nonfood items by putting objectsin their mouths. Center for Disease Control (2016) noted thatchildren`s respiratory uptake of this substance can be up to 3 timeshigher than that for adults. A variety of risk factors can increaseor decrease a person`s sensitivity to neurotoxins – one-factor beingsocio-economic status. Comparing the income level, 15.3% of childrenfrom less privileged families had blood-lead levels equal or morethan 10mcg/dl compared to 4.1% of children from both the middle andhigh-income families.
The socio-economic status, ethnicity/race, and age of housing, aresome of the risk factors for exposure to lead. Of children from poorbackgrounds, 8.6% of them had increased blood-lead levels compared to4.5% of those from affluent families. Of Detroit`s children fromnon-Hispanic black families, 12.2% recorded almost four timescompared to 3% among non-Hispanic white ones and two times higherthan the 3% of the Mexican-American children (Center for DiseaseControl, 2016).
Diagnosesbased on the Risk Assessment
Diagnosis is the increased risk of lead poisoning among childrenunder the ages of six and seven from Detroit, which relates toinsufficient information or knowledge of lead sources, and effectsand prevention among the caregivers. Others include residence in oldhouses with lead-based paint, exposure to soil contamination that isdemonstrated by high rates of lead poisoning among the children.
From the above, the diagnosis of lead poisoning is carried outthrough a blood-lead test, which is performed using a standard bloodsample (Center for Disease Control, 2016). The amount of lead poisonin the children`s blood is measured in mcg/dl (micrograms perdeciliter). Less than 10mcg/dl is enough to carry out the diagnosis.The sources of lead should be removed immediately. Additionally,tests mainly include blood tests to identify the amount ofiron-storing cells, X-rays, and bone marrow biopsy.
One primary care plan or treatment is to prevent lead poisoning inchildren (Jain, 2015). Other prevention programs focus on secondarycare plan or treatment, which is the treatment of children that arealready exposed to lead. In treating lead poisoning, the first steptowards finding a treatment solution is to locate its sources,getting rid of it entirely, or ensuring the children do not accessthe sources of lead. Secondly, there is a need for screening, as wellas, plans for follow-up testing (Jain, 2015). Thirdly, nutritionplays a significant role in the treatment process. Considering leadis a substance that can easily be absorbed on an empty stomach. Thus,it is critical that the children eat healthily and more regularlybefore they go out to play. Meals should also contain iron andcalcium. Suggested foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, cerealsfortified with iron, and spinach.
The public health nurses can educate of informing the Detroitresidents, especially the parents, about the primary sources of leadand the manner in which lead poisoning can be prevented. This kind ofinformation can include more information about primary sources oflead poisoning, nutrition, and preventable sources found around thehomesteads and complete removal of the lead substances (Center forDisease Control, 2016). The plan for intervention for this studyencompasses informing the Detroit residents on the need correctly tounderstand lead poisoning, its sources, and causes.
The process will take place in the homesteads, schools, and medicalinstitutions to reach out the city`s residents as many as possible.It is paramount to provide comprehensive information to the residentsin the various outlets around the city. Informing residents may notassist in tackling the already present cases of lead poisoning, butit will work towards reducing the number of cases on the same (Jain,2015). After a considerable period, Detroit residents will be moreconcerned and aware about exposure to lead substance.
An Evaluationof the Effectiveness of the Intervention
The interventions above work towards the total elimination ofincreased blood-lead levels in the children`s blood. Detroit has along way to solving these cases, but every intervention aboverequires a starting point. Cases of lead poisoning are preventable,and if the city of Detroit, at a minimum, educates its residentsregarding the sources of poisoning, and the importance of proposedpreventive measures that would be more critical in the declination oflead poisoning in the future (Center for Disease Control, 2016).
The Detroit residents should be made to be aware of things thatenhance lead poisoning in children. The results expected include thegovernment`s efforts to reduce the use of materials, which containlead, for example, paint. These interventions are a good measure todrive the Detroit community towards ensuring children experiencehealthy lives and grow normally. With the abolition of the use ofhazardous lead materials, which result in the poisoning, these caseswill be a thing of the past in the city.
Summary –Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track (MAP-IT) Steps
The first step is to mobilize notable individuals and otherstakeholders within the city to form a coalition. This partnershipoften represents diverse resources and interests to address issuesthat are crucial in handling lead poisoning. This company will workwith the Detroit Health Department and other health institutionsaround the community (Center for Disease Control, 2016). However,empowering the residents and finding solutions to lead poisoning willalso assist in mobilizing a wider range of resources towardsaddressing the menace.
There is a need to assess both the Detroit community needs andassets (resources). This MAP-IT approach identifies the actual needsand provides a realistic way of handling the problem facing thesechildren. Formulating a plan to address the issue about theindividuals affected, the kind of resources available, and those tobe used are required. Individual and institutions involvement on theissue requires setting up of priorities by identification of what thecommunity members and stakeholders view as important (Jain, 2015).This item lacks feasibility, measurability, and effectiveness in thedetermination of priorities. The objectives in Healthy People 2020can serve as the starting point to provide wider arrays of health andcommunity safety, especially in lead poisoning.
Once priorities are set and data collected, there is a need for anaction plan with concrete plans and set deadlines to sort out theissue at hand. The objectives highlighted in the paper should beunique to Detroit, a community that is facing high levels ofpoisoning in children. These objectives should also address the setgoals of the program requirements needed towards the goal, and theway to measure progress to recognize these aims have been attained(Center for Disease Control, 2016). The plan of action towardsfinding a solution to lead menace in Detroit includes action steps, acollection of relevant information, responsibility assignment, andhaving a feasible timeline.
Finding proper interventions on lead poisoning in Detroit requiresthe implementation of strategies once the action plan is established.Tasks should be completed by the timeframe set. Routine tracking andmonitoring by the relevant health institutions, for example, DetroitDepartment of Health, is critical to the implementation process. Anexample of implementation is the responsibility of the staff membersin these health institutions to support, train, and emphasize theneed to keep the children away from exposure to lead sources.
Inthe last section of the MAP-IT approach, stakeholders in Detroit willbe required to plan continuous evaluation to track the progress ofinterventions over a set timeframe. The approach is a two-way stepthat includes analyzing collected data and report on the progress. Inthis case, the data gathered include all the sources of lead in theDetroit area and the percentage of children exposed to thesubstances. The development involves a move by individuals and healthcare stakeholders in the regions towards finding a lasting solutionto the menace (Jain, 2015). Additionally, the approach is critical infinding long-term success of the problem.
Center for Disease Control (2016). Childhood Lead Poisoning Data,Statistics, and Surveillance Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/data/
Jain, R. (2015). Lead Poisoning and Developing Organism.Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.