MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The formula shortage has caused two Mid-South children to be treated at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
For many parents and pediatricians, the baby formula shortage is now being called a health crisis.
“Right now I can tell you there are two that we have who are here. We have kids that are maybe doing okay,” said Dr. Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Le Bonheur.
The two children have intestinal conditions.
“We’re supporting them with I.V. fluids and I.V. nutrition, which is not ideal. Really you want to use their bile. If they have bile intestines. You want to use the intestine. This is frustrating because we know that there’s a better way,” Corkins said.
Many fear the formula shortage could be harmful to a baby’s physical and mental growth.
“It’s very alarming, especially during infancy. It’s the most rapid period of growth of our entire lives,” Corkins said.
To ease the baby formula shortage, Abbott Nutrition reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to reopen a plant, but it could be months before new formula hits shelves.
“That means they have to make the formula. They have to package the formula. They have to ship the formula. At best, we’re talking about eight weeks. We’ll probably have to limp for probably two more months,” Corkins said.
Doctors say their best advice for parents is to talk to experts.
“To our parents, talk to your doctor. If you have questions, ask, and find somebody who can help you. Don’t trust the internet,” Corkins said.
Earlier Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a $28 million bill to address the shortage. The measure is aimed at restoring formula in a “safe and secure manner,” and the additional money would help the FDA prevent future shortages.