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Checking new baby for PK levels - WHY?

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Old 06-21-2004, 06:45 PM   #1
Dear Maggie
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Valdez, Alaska
Posts: 343
Dear Maggie HB User
Checking new baby for PK levels - WHY?

Why do you think they are checking a newborn baby at the 2 week check up with a PK blood test?

This is some info I found:

Cullen et al. found a one-to-one correspondence between blood/bone marrow abnormalities and red blood cell pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency in solvent-exposed workers.

The dad is a gulf war vet (90-91 time period)

Baby was born prematurely and weighed 5 lbs 15 oz; but at 2 week check up weighed 5 lbs 4 oz
Update: Baby seems robust at 3 months old... and yes, they were only doing the regular check that babies get. When baby was 2 months old she got her first set of shots (innoculations). Since she only weighed 9 lbs 1 oz ... you would have thought they would have waited a little longer to start these.

Last edited by Dear Maggie; 09-16-2004 at 06:30 AM.

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Old 06-21-2004, 10:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 22
Tip'sfriend HB User
Just reread and saw you referred to PK, not PKU. I apologize.

Last edited by Tip'sfriend; 06-21-2004 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Reread thread--see it referred to PK not PKU.

Old 06-22-2004, 07:33 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: usa
Posts: 1,534
Timber HB UserTimber HB User
Re: Checking new baby for PK levels - WHY?

You sure it's PK and not PKU?

Old 06-23-2004, 03:16 AM   #4
Dear Maggie
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Valdez, Alaska
Posts: 343
Dear Maggie HB User
I'll double check and let you know

I'll double check and let you know.

A gulf war vet just e-mailed me the following info
(I would also be concerned about failure to thrive which is on this list)

Birth Defect Research for Children,Inc.
Fact Sheets

The Gulf War & Birth Defects

During the Gulf War, over 1,000,000 veterans served in the Persian
Gulf. Since their return, thousands of these men and women have
reported a pattern of health problems called Gulf War Syndrome:

Symptoms include:

Skin rashes/sores/dryness
Memory loss
Joint pain
Personality changes
Stomach problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain)
Muscle pain, weakness, spasms
Visual problems
Shortness of breath
Sleep disturbance
Hair loss
Numbness of hands, fingers, feet
Dental problems/bleeding gums
Chest pain
Dizziness/balance problems
Sinus problems
Sensitivity to light, smell , noise
Children born with birth defects and/or chronic illness
Partners with reproductive problems

Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) sponsors a project called
the National Birth Defect Registry that is collecting data to help
Gulf War families find out if their children's birth defects are
linked to
exposures in the Gulf. An advisory board of seven national scientific
experts has helped ABDC design a special section on Gulf War

According to a report by the General Accounting Office, a number of
substances present in the war environment may cause reproductive
dysfunction. These include:



Oil Fires and Soil Samples

Benzo (a) pyrene
Di-n-butyl phthalate

Decontaminating Agents

Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether

Other exposures of concern include insect repellants like DEET,
pyridostigmine bromide (anti-nerve gas pills)
vaccinations for anthrax and botulism and possible exposure to
chemical and biological warfare agents.


Their mothers and fathers came back from the Gulf War to a hero's
welcome. The war was over quickly and with minimal casualties or so
it seemed. Soon the reports of the mysterious Gulf War Syndrome began
surfacing. The symptoms were very much like those of Chronic Fatigue
Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS): severe fatigue, aching joints,
recurrent rashes, headaches, infections, nose bleeds, multiple
allergies including chemical sensitivity, chronic ringing in the
ears. And nine months after the end of the war, Birth Defect Research
for Children began to receive calls from Gulf War veterans who had
children w ith birth defects.

Babies born with Goldenhar Syndrome, babies with missing limbs,
babies with chronic infections and failure to thrive, babies born
with cancer, heart problems and immune problems. Their parents had
questions. Did something
they were exposed to in the Gulf cause their babies to be born with
these problems?

BDRC followed the investigations of Gulf War Syndrome by the offices
of Senators Rockefeller and Reagle and started to gather research on
some of the Gulf War exposures that could have an effect on an unborn

In a computer search on three of these exposures, BDRC was able to
find some troubling reports. DEET used by the veterans as an insect
repellent has been associated with sperm abnormalities and heart
defects in animal
studies. Chronic usage of DEET can result in high levels in the body.
In a study of Everglades Park employees, personnel used a cumulative
dose of 100 grams per week.

Anot her exposure of concern is the anti-nerve gas agent
pyridostigmine bromide. This agent affects ne urotransmitters that are
believed to be important in the development of some organ systems.
There is concern
that alterations in neurotransmitter function during fetal
development may disrupt the organization of the central nervous

It has also been reported that Gulf uniforms and gear were treated
with an insecticide called Permethrin. Research on this product
reports that there have been no studies of its possible effects on
unborn children, therefore a small risk cannot be excluded.

Many Gulf War veterans were exposed to these three products in
combination and studies at the United States Department of
Agriculture have indicated that the combination may be more powerful
that each ingredient alone.

Other possible toxic exposures in the Gulf include oil fires, diesel
fumes, depleted uranium, chemical and/or biological warfare agents.

Gulf War families need research to answer their questions about the
effects t hese exposures may have had on their babies now and in the
future. BDRC is collaborating with the University of Texas,
Southwestern on a study of Goldenhar Syndrome in the children of Gulf
era veterans.



Last edited by Guardian; 06-23-2004 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Posted contact information and website. (Business contact and personal also websites is against guidlines)

Old 11-08-2005, 10:33 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: florida
Posts: 6
Jekke HB User
Re: Checking new baby for PK levels - WHY?


did your baby have PK deficiency? I am interested because my 20 month year old daughter does. She was extremely jaundice the first week of her life and it took 3 weeks for the doctors to diagnose her.

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