Two Children Were Hospitalized Following A Nationwide Shortage Of Baby Formula

Two Children Were Hospitalized Following A Nationwide Shortage Of Baby Formula

They were not tolerating any substitutes of the formula.

A doctor at Memphis' Le Bonheur Children's Hospital claims he admitted two young patients—a toddler and a preschooler—because the specific formula they require was out of stock and they have not tolerated any substitutes. 

The toddler, who had been hospitalized for approximately a week, was released on Tuesday. According to a hospital spokesperson, the preschooler, who was hospitalized in April, is still in the hospital, per CNN. Dr. Mark Corkins, the hospital's pediatric gastroenterologist said, "It's been a crisis since February of shifting and trying to sift through and figure something else to work."




As part of its efforts to alleviate a nationwide formula shortage, the US Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it is making it simpler to import some newborn formulas. Both of the youngsters in Memphis are suffering from small bowel syndrome and are unable to digest full-size proteins.

Abbott manufactured over 80% of the unique formula they require under the EleCare brand. However, after its Sturgis, Michigan, manufacturing factory closed in February, patients on that formula were shifted to those supplied by smaller suppliers, and their inventories have now run out as well. Corkins stated that they attempted different types of formulas built with chopped-up proteins, but these did not work. The children were unable to tolerate them and got dehydrated as a result. 




He said, "In the hospital, we give them IV fluids, and the other thing we give them is IV nutrition. That's not ideal." The doctors want young children to be fed by mouth so that they can use their gut. The more they utilize their gut, the stronger it becomes. Corkins claims that if it hadn't been for their unique dietary demands, both children might have lived at home. However, they were hospitalized so that they can get proper nutrition.



Abbott has already struck a deal with US regulators to re-open but has warned that it may take up to two months for items to hit the stores. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden, under increasing pressure to resolve the problem, invoked the Defense Production Act, a wartime policy, to increase domestic production of infant formula. He also directed the Pentagon to fly in cargo from other countries, reports BBC News.

The House of Representatives also decisively passed a bill to ease the shortfall. According to a Datasembly analysis, 43 percent of formula items were unavailable countrywide in the first week of May, with the figure becoming even higher in places such as Tennessee, Texas, and Iowa. 




Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Maria Korneeva