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2 Mid-South children hospitalized due to nationwide formula shortage

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 4:56 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A nationwide formula shortage is hitting close to home. Two Mid-South children are being treated at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital because of the supply issue.

Neither doctors nor their families can find the formula these children need on store shelves.

We’re told both children are in stable condition at Le Bonheur, but they both have special medical needs and the normal formula they use is out.

“This is a crisis for us in health care,” said Dr. Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Mark Corkins is currently treating the two children hospitalized. He says is one is a pre-school age child and the other is a toddler, both are living with intestinal conditions.

“This is not every child, not normal children, but literally the formula recall has led to these children requiring hospitalization,” said Dr. Corkins.

Dr. Corkins says their bodies did not tolerate the switch to a different formula when their parents could no longer find the formula they normally use.

Now doctors are treating the children with IV fluids and nutrition support until formula becomes available.

“This recall started in February. Even if you had several weeks of stock, we’re now out of the special formulas,” said Dr. Corkins. “So literally what we have is what we have. We have some things that we’re trying to find. We’re trying to use some alternatives but the standard ones, the ones you would think of, there is none to be had.”

Abbott Nutrition reached an agreement with the FDA Monday to re-open their manufacturing plant to help with the formula shortage. The company’s Michigan plant had been closed due to bacterial contamination.

That news is a relief for parents desperately searching for formula, but it could take at least 8 weeks for products to start showing up on store shelves.

Dr. Corkins says parents should NOT use a homemade formula to feed their children. He also says you should NOT dilute formula.

Call your doctor if you have questions or need help.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can help families with this crisis.

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