Two children in Tennessee with specific dietary requirements were hospitalized this month due to the nationwide shortage of baby formula.
The two children were hospitalized mid-May at Le Bonehur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, said Dr Mark Corkins, division chief of pediatric gastroenterology at the hospital and University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
‘These are young children who have health conditions and special medical needs that have specific dietary requirements,’ Corkins said in a statement. ‘Their bodies did not adapt well to the new formula type and they required treatment via IV fluids and supplemental nutrition.’
The children who were hospitalized are 5 and 8-years-old, the Commercial Appeal reported.
Pediatric doctors at the hospital were making ‘multiple substitutions’ to the children’s diets to ensure their nutritional needs were being met, Corkins said.
Both of the children require a special, amino acid-based formula because they have short bowel syndrome, a condition that makes them unable to properly digest food because they have fewer intestines.
One of the children was discharged Tuesday, while the other remained to receive care for complications that arose because they were lacking the nutrients they had previously been receiving from the specialized formula.
Earlier this week, Abbott announced it had reached a deal with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reopen its Michigan factory, which closed following a recall. It’s reopening comes amid a nationwide shortage of baby formula, which many blame on Abbott closing its largest factory.
The company also said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for no evidence that would link their formulas with the infant illnesses and deaths that prompted the initial recall and closure earlier this year.
It’s expected to take six to eight weeks for the company to resume production fully and get baby formula back on the shelves.