https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10829801/Two-children-TN-hospitalized-needing-IV-fluids-baby-formula-shortage.html

Are you even looking Joe? Two young children in Memphis are hospitalized after needing IV fluids and nutritional support due to baby formula shortage

  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist Mark Corkins, 60, treated two Memphis children at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after their parents couldn’t find formula
  • The children, who were not identified, were ‘not adapting well to the new formula type’ and needed IVs and nutritional support 
  • One was a preschooler, who was admitted in late April and is still currently being treated, while the toddler was admitted last week and has since left 
  • ‘These are young children who have health conditions and special medical needs that [require] specific dietary requirements,’ Corkins said
  • The doctor also said he worries IV side effects should cause the children kidney and heart complication, elevated potassium, and salt in their blood 
  • Children are needing to be hospitalized as parents continue to struggle to find formula on US shelves after Abbott Laboratories recalled products in February 
  • Many kids are having a hard time adjusting to generic and parents are seething at the slow turnaround as international products gets caught up at the border  

Two children in Memphis have been hospitalized after needing IV fluids and nutritional support due to the baby formula shortage.

The preschooler and toddler, both from different families, were rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after their parents failed to secure formula as shelves across America go bare. 

Both kids have short-bowel syndrome, which prevents them from absorbing nutrients completely as part of the small intestine is missing, The New York Times reported. Both require an amino-acid-based formula and had been consuming EleCare, among others, which Abbott Laboratories recalled after four children contracted a rare, but serious, bacterial infection. 

The children were treated through IV fluids and nutritional support in the hospital after ‘not adapting well to the new formula type,’ Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Mark Corkins, 60, said in a statement, viewed by The Hill. The parents have declined to talk to the media. 

The preschooler was admitted in late April and is still being treated, while the toddler was hospitalized last week and has since left, the Times reported. 

‘These are young children who have health conditions and special medical needs that [require] specific dietary requirements,’ Corkins said in a statement, viewed by the Hill. ‘[Hospital staff are] making multiple substitutions throughout a child’s care to ensure that their nutritional needs are met.’ 

He said the process could be ‘complicated,’ ‘cumbersome,’ and ‘extremely difficult for parents to navigate on their own.’ 

Desperate parents have been advised not to make their own formula at home, as it won’t contain the same nutritional value as store bought, leaving parents with little options but to wait for President Joe Biden’s promise that the product would be airlifted to the states. 

A view of nearly empty shelves at a giant grocery store due to shortage in the availability of baby food Monday, May 16

Pediatric Gastroenterologist Mark Corkins, 60, treated two Memphis children at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital after their parents couldn't find formula and they were 'not adapting well to the new formula type. 'These are young children who have health conditions and special medical needs that [require] specific dietary requirements,' he said

Pediatric Gastroenterologist Mark Corkins, 60, treated two Memphis children at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after their parents couldn’t find formula and they were ‘not adapting well to the new formula type. ‘These are young children who have health conditions and special medical needs that [require] specific dietary requirements,’ he said 

Both children, who were not identified, suffer from short-bowel syndrome and needed IVs and nutritional support after their families were unable to find EleCare formula for them after Abbott Laboratories - the largest formula maker in the US - recalled products in February, causing a national crisis

Both children, who were not identified, suffer from short-bowel syndrome and needed IVs and nutritional support after their families were unable to find EleCare formula for them after Abbott Laboratories – the largest formula maker in the US – recalled products in February, causing a national crisis 

Nestle Switzerland announced earlier this week that they would be airlifting sensitive digestion formulas to the US, as well as Danone, another Swiss company, to combat the growing crisis here. Many states, including Tennessee, are experiencing above a 40 percent shortage after Abbott Laboratories – the largest formula maker in the states – recalled products in February, sending parents spiraling and leaving babies with rashes and illnesses after switching to generic. 

However, the precious formula is still being subjected to international tariffs.

Biden and the FDA announced they would streamline the process in hopes of getting the formula into the hands of parents faster, but parents and caregivers are slamming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, 70, and her husband’s administration for empty promises and calling it a ‘load of cr*p.’ 

The First Lady addressed the nation in a new public service announcement on Tuesday, saying: ‘Becoming a mom or dad means falling in love deeper than you ever thought possible and in those first few months of sleepless nights, of endless diapers and dirty dishes…and worrying about every little danger, your love can feel like the only thing that keeps you going,’ Jill said.

‘I want you to know that you’re doing an incredible job – even if you don’t always feel that way. And I know you are worried about how you are going to feed your baby. The President sees you, he hears you, and his team is working around the clock to get you what you need.’ 

Baby Formula shelves are almost empty with signs limiting purchases at a grocery store in Boston, May 15

Baby Formula shelves are almost empty with signs limiting purchases at a grocery store in Boston, May 15

Many parents slammed the PSA as just ‘words’ that provided ‘zero’ help with the ongoing crisis. 

‘Oh please. There’s no formula. Babies are hungry!’ one Twitter user wrote. 

Another wrote: ‘Hey @DrBiden @FLOTUS THEY NEED FORMULA, NOT WORDS. So please take action and get them #formula NOW!!’ 

House Democrats have since also proposed a $28million emergency bill that would allow the FDA to address the crisis as well as prevent future ones. 

Corkins told The New York Times that this is the worst shortage he’s seen in his career, and the two children he treated struggled to adjust to the various formulas he recommended. Many other families are experiencing similar results, leaving their children with diarrhea and dehydration. 

‘They don’t have to digest it, they just absorb it,’ Corkins told the Times, regarding the EleCare formula, which is amino-based instead of protein-based. 

Many states, including Tennessee, are experiencing above a 40 percent shortage after Abbott Laboratories recalled products in February, sending parents spiraling and leaving babies with rashes and illnesses after switching to generic

Many states, including Tennessee, are experiencing above a 40 percent shortage after Abbott Laboratories recalled products in February, sending parents spiraling and leaving babies with rashes and illnesses after switching to generic 

The US reached an all-time high on May 1 at 43 percent, which has persisted

The US reached an all-time high on May 1 at 43 percent, which has persisted

Despite putting the Tennessee children on IV bags, he worried they would experience elevated levels of potassium and salt in their blood, which could cause complications in the kidneys and heart. It could also stunt growth and brain development if used long term, he told the Times. 

‘Even if they’re not stooling out and getting dehydrated and having trouble with fluids, I worry if they’re getting enough nutrition [and] that they’re going to grow like they should,’ he told The New York Times. 

Corkins and his team are tirelessly working to safely alter formulas and keeping a close eye on affected children. He also said many children affected by the shortage have short-bowl syndrome, enzyme defects, or other intestinal disorders. 

He recommended that parents reach out to their pediatricians for help and said ‘we’re going to stumble along until the formula’s back.’ 

However, many parents don’t feel as hopeful as Corkins does as they watch their children suffer from formula changes. 

Abbott Laboratories announced it would re-open a Michigan plant to help with the shortage, however, the Justice Department announced that in order for the reopening to happen, Abbott must overhaul its safety protocols before production can start – a process that could take several months. 

Once Abbott has overhauled its safety protocols and has FDA approval, the formula manufacturer said it could restart the site within two weeks, according to M Live

If it re-opens, the factory will prioritize EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas and then start making Similac and others.

Once the factory is up and running, parents are expected to start seeing the products six to eight weeks after. 

‘Our number one priority is getting infants and families the high-quality formulas they need, and this is a major step toward re-opening our Sturgis facility so we can ease the nationwide formula shortage. We look forward to working with the FDA to quickly and safely re-open the facility,’ CEO Robert B. Ford said in a statement. 

President Joe Biden, 79, has promised Americans he would airlift formula to the states, but the precious product is being subject to international tariffs, causing a delay in getting the cans into parents hands

President Joe Biden, 79, has promised Americans he would airlift formula to the states, but the precious product is being subject to international tariffs, causing a delay in getting the cans into parents hands 

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden (right) issued a PSA Tuesday, alongside Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy (left), defending her husband's response to the nationwide baby formula shortage, saying his team is 'working around the clock'

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden (right) issued a PSA Tuesday, alongside Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy (left), defending her husband’s response to the nationwide baby formula shortage, saying his team is ‘working around the clock’ 

‘We know millions of parents and caregivers depend on us and we’re deeply sorry that our voluntary recall worsened the nationwide formula shortage. We will work hard to re-earn the trust that moms, dads and caregivers have placed in our formulas for more than 50 years.’

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf told the Today Show: ‘Every step of the way, we have an obligation to watch [and] make sure that the problems have been rectified and that the formula will be safe.’ 

The GOP has criticized President Joe Biden’s slow response to the formula crisis, which was caused by ongoing supply disruptions and exacerbated by a February recall.

The outrage at the border stock pile also comes as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans next week to end restrictions, known as Title 42, that have prevented migrants from seeking asylum under US law and international treaty on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Rep. Kat Cammack first revealed the stock pile last Thursday when she shared an image of a shelving unit at a US Border Patrol facility in Texas

Rep. Kat Cammack first revealed the stock pile last Thursday when she shared an image of a shelving unit at a US Border Patrol facility in Texas 

Border officials are preparing for surge in the numbers of migrants when the health order expires on May 23.

Cammack argued the shortage is just another example of how Biden is incapable of quickly solving problems confronting the US.

‘This just points again to how out of touch this administration is and they could stop this with a simple policy change,’ she said Monday after sharing the footage she captured at the border facilities. 

The legislator, escorted by border patrol agents, captured pictures and videos from inside the facility, showing pallets filled with unopened boxes of baby supplies.

One image showed mounds of infant formula featuring handwritten dates, likely to denote expiration, of June 2023.

She also showed video of migrants appearing to utilize the supplies.

Cammack, speaking to Fox after the visit, said it is ‘just another example of the broken administration that doesn’t know how to govern.’

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