Two children have been hospitalized in Tennessee after their parents could not find a specific type of formula amid a nationwide shortage.
Both children have intestinal disorders that make it difficult for them to absorb nutrients. They were treated at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis after their bodies couldn’t tolerate an alternate type of formula, according to Fox13 Memphis.
One of the children was released Tuesday.
Dr. Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist who treated the children, told Fox13 he gave them IV fluids and nutrients while they search for the formula, though it is not a long-term solution and he expects more kids will land in hospitals.
The nationwide shortage has parents scrambling for formula wherever they can get it. It’s also increasing pressure on the Biden administration to ramp up production or increase imports.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that Mr. Biden is “working overtime” to get the formula back in stores safely but reminded reporters that the shortage wouldn’t have happened were it not for safety concerns at a facility run by Abbott Nutrition.
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“We cannot forget how we got here,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “Abbott closed the facility because of safety concerns from the [Food and Drug Administration]. The FDA wanted to make sure that formula was going out in a safe way and that is the job of the FDA.”
The FDA ordered Abbott, a major formula-producing company, to close its Sturgis, Michigan plant in February after several infants became sick with cronobacter infections. Two infants died, and the powdered formula was recalled.
Abbott said last week that after completing an internal investigation at the plant, they found “no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.”
• Joseph Clark contributed to this report.