Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Home Care warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause

Plumbism Overview

Another name for Plumbism is Lead Poisoning.

What is lead poisoning?
A person with lead poisoning has abnormally high levels of lead in the body. Poisoning can occur if lead is inhaled or swallowed. Lead poisoning is most common in children who are exposed to lead paint. Eating paint chips, a condition called pica, can cause lead poisoning if the paint is old. Lead poisoning may also occur in occupations in which lead is used in an industrial process. Mild cases of lead poisoning can be cured with treatment.

What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
Early symptoms of lead poisoning include fatigue, muscle aches, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, poor concentration, and memory loss. Symptoms of severe lead poisoning include constipation, severe abdominal pain, weight loss, pale skin, numbness and tingling, mental retardation, confusion and seizures.

How does the doctor treat lead poisoning?
Treatment for lead poisoning includes medications that remove lead from the bloodstream, as well as medications that control seizures.

Continue to Plumbism Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Plumbism References
  1. Brown MJ, McLaine P, Dixon S, Simon P. A randomized, community-based trial of home visiting to reduce blood lead levels in children. Pediatrics. 2006 Jan;117(1):147-53. [16396872]
  2. Chan GM, Hoffman RS, Nelson LS. Get the lead out. Ann Emerg Med. 2004 Nov;44(5):551-2. [15523754]
  3. Frith D, Yeung K, Thrush S, Hunt BJ, Hubbard JG. Lead poisoning--a differential diagnosis for abdominal pain. Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2146. [16360796]
  4. Hirata M, Kosaka H, Yoshida T. A study on the effect of lead on event-related potentials among lead-exposed workers. Ind Health. 2004 Oct;42(4):431-4. [15540626]
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