Clinical Metals Testing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. How long does it take to do the testing?
Q. Who can receive lab results?
Q. I’m missing a laboratory result for one of my patients, do you have it?
Q. The samples were not refrigerated over the weekend, are they still suitable for testing?
Q. I have a billing question, who do I contact?
Q. Why is an elevated capillary blood lead result confirmed with a venous sample?
Q. What does it mean when there is a high capillary lead result and a low venous confirmation result?
Q. The laboratory report says the result is reportable, what agency do I report it to?
Q. I need more supplies for collecting capillary blood lead samples, how do I get them?
Q. What supplies are provided in the capillary blood lead collection kit?
Q. Do you accept samples collected with materials you did not provide?
Q. What is the best sample to collect for measuring mercury exposure?
Q. Can I submit a urine sample for a lead test?

 

Q. How long does it take to do the testing?
A.
Blood lead results are generally obtained less than or equal to 2 working days from the time of receipt in the laboratory. Other tests typically require approximately 5 working days.

 

Q. Who can receive lab results?
A. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) limits the release of protected health information to the submitting agency. Results can be reported to other parties only with a signed authorization from the patient. Blood lead results are also reported to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health as required by state law.

 

Q. I’m missing a laboratory result for one of my patients, do you have it?
A.
Contact us at 608-224-6252 and we can determine if a sample was received and if the testing has been completed and a report issued. We can also print a duplicate report.

 

Q. The samples were not refrigerated over the weekend, are they still suitable for testing?
A. Yes, samples for trace metals testing are stable at room temperature for weeks and at refrigerated temperature for months.

 

Q. I have a billing question, who do I contact?
Call:  800-862-1065
E-mail: arbill@mail.slh.wisc.edu

 

Q. Why is an elevated capillary blood lead result confirmed with a venous sample?
A. A capillary sample collected for a blood lead test is more susceptible to environmental contamination than is a venous sample. An elevated capillary result needs to be confirmed with a venous drawn sample to rule out the possibility of a false positive result.

 

Q. What does it mean when there is a high capillary lead result and a low venous confirmation result?
A. This is caused by the capillary sample being contaminated with environmental lead. Since lead is widespread in the environment, special care must be taken when collecting capillary samples. Please review our comprehensive instructions for the collection of capillary samples for blood lead testing for the proper procedure.

 

Q. The laboratory report says the result is reportable, what agency do I report it to?
A.
The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene reports results to the appropriate agency (e.g., the Wisconsin Division of Public Health), so you don’t need to report results.

 

Q. I need more supplies for collecting capillary blood lead samples, how do I get them?
A.
For a capillary blood lead collection kit (Kit #6) or materials supplied in the kit, call 608-224-6257. You can also call our toll-free number 1-800-442-4618. Information you need to provide when you call is your agency name, agency account number, and the number and type of supplies you need.

 

Q. What supplies are provided in the capillary blood lead collection kit?
A.
Kit #6 contains most of the supplies needed to collect and send us samples from 100 children. A complete list of included materials can be found here.

 

Q. Do you accept samples collected with materials you did not provide?
A.
Yes. The benefits of using the collection materials we provide are that they have been tested to be free of lead contamination and they are supplied at no cost to you.

 

Q. What is the best sample to collect for measuring MERCURY exposure?
A.
The WSLH only offers mercury testing in whole blood samples.

 

Q. Can I submit a urine sample for a LEAD test?
A.
Urine is not considered to be a valid indicator of lead exposure. Blood is the preferred sample to collect.