Two children hospitalized amid shortage of baby formula

A nearly empty shelf of baby formula in San Diego last week.
(Image credit: NY Times)

Two small children were treated in a Tennessee hospital this month because their specialty baby formula was unavailable amid the nationwide shortage, reports The Hill.

The children, one preschool age and one a toddler, per The New York Times, were hospitalized at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis. Both had "special medical needs that have specific dietary requirements," said Mark Corkins, division chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Le Bonheur and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. They need a type of formula produced by Abbott Nutrition, which closed its plant earlier this year over health concerns.

The children's bodies "did not adapt well" to other types of formula that doctors tried, causing them to need treatment through IV fluids.

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Corkins said that parents should contact their pediatrician if they notice their child isn't adapting well to a formula or they simply have questions, adding that, "[t]his can be a complicated and cumbersome process and is extremely difficult for parents to navigate on their own."

The nationwide formula shortage got much worse after a recall from Abbott, one of the largest formula manufacturers. President Biden says officials are working to increase the supply of overseas shipments to stock shelves in the short term.

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