- At least four babies have been hospitalized in South Carolina due to a national formula shortage.
- The babies are receiving nutritional treatment at the Medical University of South Carolina.
- Parents around the country are struggling to feed their children as the shortage continues.
Four babies in South Carolina have been hospitalized because of the nationwide formula shortage, according to local news outlet The State.
At least four babies were checked into the Medical University of South Carolina for nutritional deficiencies connected to the shortage, according to hospital spokesperson Heather M. Woolwine. Woolwine told The State that “pediatric dietitians are working with the individual child’s care team to find a formula or nutrition that works for him or her based on allergy and caloric needs.”
The hospital is one of several around the country responding to an increase in hospitalizations of babies seeking nutritional treatment due to the infant formula shortage.
Earlier this year, Abbott Laboratories closed its formula plant following complaints that infants had contracted infections after consuming bacteria found in Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare products. The Michigan-based company recalled the brands, plunging the country further into an infant formula shortage.
As parents struggle to secure formula for their infant children, some are attempting to substitute with homemade formula or other alternatives. Doctors, however, are warning against using substitutes because baby formula has to be made with certain specifications to ensure infants can digest it properly.
Last week, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act, forcing suppliers to prioritize and manufacture baby formula.
“Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains,” a statement from the White House said.
Part of the effort involves using military resources to fly in ingredients or supplies from overseas. Commercial aircrafts contracted by the Defense Department, for example, will bring in Nestlé S.A. formula from Switzerland.