Posted by: Tracy Barsamian | October 3, 2012

Yes! There is a TB Blood Test (QFT Gold Test)

I would like to start off by saying that I think my girls’ pediatrician is a wonderful, amazing human being.  She is a fellow adoptive mom.  And she loves my girls and wants nothing more than to keep them happy and healthy.  That said, the pediatrician wants to do a TB test on Lauren.  Fine.  I did some research on side-effects associated with regular skin test for TB.  It seems that some people have had nasty reactions to that test, so I started to research alternative options.  And low-and-behold, there is a blood test!  It’s called the QFT Gold Test.  Here is a link to that TB blood test on the Children’s Hospital Boston Website.  I brought a print-out of this page with me, in anticipation of my discussion with the pediatrician.  She had never heard of it!  But when she did some research, she found out that it is an effective test and since we have to do some more labs, she thought it was a great idea to do the TB test at the same time.  She thanked me for bringing this option to her attention (I told you that she is a lovely human being).  And I think that she is a very good pediatrician.  I just think that our health care system is a mess.  My guess is that the drug companies make money on the old school TB test (arm prick) and that they get shut out when patients opt for the blood test.

The pediatrician and I talked long and hard about vaccines for Lauren.  And I think that I may have actually found a middle ground for both sides of the vaccine debate!  Why aren’t the DOCTORS TELLING the drug companies what their patients need?!  It makes no sense for the drug companies to tell the medical professionals what their patients need!!**  The pediatrician laughed and said something to the effect of – wouldn’t it  be nice if it worked that way??  MIDDLE GROUND!!  This may be a breakthrough.  I just need a few minutes with the right people (wink-wink).

The idea of the drug companies bossing around the doctors got me thinking…maybe the big food companies should start telling farmers how to grow their crops.  Oh sh*t!  That’s right, they already are.  Wait.  Let me try again.  Okay, okay, okay – I know, that would be like the idiots at the Department of Education who have never stepped foot in a public school classroom in their lives, telling teachers how/what to teach.  Oh my God!  I’ve stumbled upon a pattern here.  If you want to watch a really scary documentary on all of these topics, here’s a link to Thrive:  The Movement.  But I will forewarn you, the movie may cause you to sleep with one eye open for about two weeks!!

**One last quick link.  Here is a very interesting article/video about flu shots on  The article/video supports today’s blog with its observation that “The pharmaceutical industry is cutting out the M.D. middleman and going straight for the gold in places where we shop for toothpaste, clothes and food. Even on the evening news, flu shot commercials are becoming as frequent as political campaign ads.”


  1. I’m still angry from watching Food, Inc. I don’t know how much more truth I can handle!

    • I know! That’s the thing – who has a strong enough stomach/constitution to know all about these messes and still sleep at night!! BTW, did you read the Arlington Parents List today? – parents were complaining b/c the kids only get 15 minutes to eat their lunches in elementary school. Keira could eat 3 grapes and two bites of sandwich in 15 minutes!! The kids must be so hungry when they get home!!!

  2. Love this! People should be overwhel.ed, then outraged enough to do something other than sit back and watch. Well done Tracy!

    • It’s true, isn’t it? Outrage is often required to lead us to action!! Everyone who watches Thrive the Movie will be outraged!! CHANGE, here we come!

  3. Sooo..what’s the middle ground?? I need more details, my girl! After normally vaccinating Owen, partially vaccinating Olivia on a weird schedule and not yet doing any vaccines for Lucas I’m curious about what course you are interested in taking with Lauren. And thanks for the TB info, that’s not even one I had on my radar. I don’t remember Olivia getting that, but I’m sure Owen did.

    • Oh dear, the middle ground is just that the anti-60-vaccines-before-the-age-of-6-camp and the pediatricians can both agree that it is time for the DOCTORS to tell the drug companies what their patients need. Not the other way around!! So far as the TB test goes, the test is just to see if the patient has been exposed to TB. The test is usually a “skin prick” – the doctor inserts a serum with some unknown chemicals under the child’s skin and you come back a few days later to see if the child has had a reaction. To avoid the unknown chemicals, you can do a blood draw/test. If the child test positive for TB there’s a whole ‘nother medical treatment. But let’s not go there!!!!

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