Chilling warning over nationwide baby formula shortage after two young kids hospitalized
TWO children have been hospitalized due to the nationwide formula shortage.
Parents have begun to panic as the baby formula shortage has forced many to switch their children's formula to whatever's available — a change that could be dangerous.
The switch has caused one preschool-aged child and another toddler to be admitted to a hospital with intestinal conditions, doctors report.
Dr Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist, is treating the two children at a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where officials say both patients are in stable condition.
Corkins told WMC that the nationwide formula shortage is a "crisis."
“This is not every child, not normal children, but literally the formula recall has led to these children requiring hospitalization,” Corkins said.
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According to the doctor, some children cannot tolerate the switch from their regular baby formula to another different one.
Doctors are now treating the hospitalized children with IV fluids and nutrition support until their usual formula becomes available.
"Even if you had several weeks of stock, we’re now out of the special formulas,” Corkins said.
“So literally what we have is what we have.
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"We’re trying to use some alternatives but the standard ones, the ones you would think of, there is none to be had.”
The FDA released a statement in response to the baby formula scarcity issue on their official website.
The statement says: “The FDA is working with Abbott Nutrition to better assess the impacts of the recall and understand the production capacity at other Abbott facilities that produce some of the impacted brands.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with other Democratic lawmakers, announced legislation Tuesday that would give more authority to state and territory governments to help WIC Nutrition Program recipients in the future.
The House Appropriations Committee has introduced an emergency bill that, if approved, would provide $28million to the Food and Drug Administration to aid the crisis and prevent future ones.
"We must make sure a lack of funding is not a barrier to getting safe formula to parents and to babies," House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Representative Rosa DeLauro said while introducing the measure.
"Meeting this need today is necessary to ensure that no baby goes hungry and no parent has to struggle to find the food to feed their child.
"And our efforts for the future will help ensure we are never forced back into this disappointing situation."
DeLauro went on to discuss the safety issues involving Abbott, the nation's largest formula manufacturer whose Michigan factory issued recalls on certain formulas earlier this year after two babies died from contaminated formula.
The representative said that she has released a whistleblower report highlighting a list of allegations of wrongdoing at the Abbott Nutrition factory, in Sturgis, Michigan.
"Abbott has been putting production and profits before people, and it is wrong," DeLauro said.
"We must simultaneously find solutions that prevent this contamination and shortage from happening again.
"We should not have to choose, and parents should not have to choose between food safety and supply."
At this time, it remains unclear when the shortage will stop.
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In the meantime, many parents are hopeful about receiving help from strangers in social media groups.
Tons of baby formula support groups on Facebook popped up within the first few months of 2022, and formula drives are being held by local organizations across the country.
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