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Houston — Huge efforts have been made to address the national shortage of infant formula. More than 4 million 8-ounce bottles of formula are expected to arrive in the U.S. by June 19, including to Fort Worth, Texas, and Virginia in Dulles, Texas. However, this is not enough.
The current shortage of infant formula is affecting hospitals and NICUs across the country. While the latest deliveries have led to shortages, infant formula with digestive issues is still in short supply.
Dr. Amy B. Hair is director of the Neonatal Nutrition Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. She said hospitals were struggling to support families during the formula shortage. “This has been a challenge for some time. Not only in our NICU, but also in our families. Once they leave home, finding formula is a lot of stress for them. »
Now, the hospital is expanding a program that can help many families.
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The shortages mainly started three months ago, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] Deadly bacterial contamination found to cause Infant Formula Reminder And shut down a large manufacturing plant.
Sima Ladjevardian, Regional Director of Health and Social Services for District 6, applauded the agency’s efforts to procure and receive more infant formula.
“Last week, we purchased 3.1 million cans from Nestlé-Gerber. Some of the formulas delivered were special formulas,” Ladjevardian said, noting that shipments had arrived in multiple states.
Kristen Tucker, manager of lactation services at Texas Children’s Hospital, said the specialized formula contains certain ingredients that can help babies with medical problems and mothers who need more. “There is no substitute for pasteurized donated breast milk. »
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The head of Texas Children’s Hospital said their partnership with the North Texas Milk Bank is a saving grace. “We rely on them to provide pasteurized donor milk to our premature infants and frail patients,” Tucker said.
At the height of the shortage, the hospital added a community milk donation site to ensure its medically most vulnerable infants, who depend on nutrition to survive, are still being fed. Now he is expanding the project.
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“Since launching in March 2022, more than 40,000 ounces of breast milk have been donated through our Texas Children’s Hospital website. As a next step, we are expanding our community with a site for each campus. Unfortunately, it It could happen again. We always have to be careful to protect our patients and make sure we have the necessary supplies,” Tucker said.
The Department of Health and Human Services said more specialized formulations should be available by June 20.