Deadly Formula Kills 7 Babies

This Just In 50

simply thickI don't want to sound preachy here, but because seven babies have died so far, this needs to be said. Nothing man-made is safe enough to feed our babies. This isn't a rant against formula. Formula is needed and thank goodness we have it. It's a rant over the safety of formula and what is added to it. It needs to be safe. It shouldn't kill our babies. SimplyThick, a thickening gel added to formula or breastmilk that is supposed to help premature babies swallow the liquid better and keep it down, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of seven newborns.

The first warning about the danger of this additive came in May of 2011. Sadly, over a year later not enough has been done and more infants have died, causing the FDA to expand their warning.

Twenty-one preemies and one full-term baby developed inflamed intestines, which is known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). It essentially means the intestinal wall dies and the tissue falls off. Seven babies died. Seven too many. The FDA issued this warning because they feel SimplyThick is causing this pending further investigation. There is a lawsuit against the company by a family whose daughter developed NEC and is suffering from lifelong impairments after part of her intestines had to be removed. The FDA is urging parents and doctors not to feed this product to any infant -- preemies or full-term. The additive is sold nationwide and is also used for kids and adults with any kind of swallowing issue -- so it's available and out there. But in infants, the product seems to be deadly, and if it progresses to NEC, they have a 1 in 4 survival rate.

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Symptoms include a bloated stomach, greenish-tinged vomiting, and bloody stools.

This is terrifying. This didn't just happen in people's homes. This happened in the NICU in hospitals. A place where a parent would hope their child is getting the best care -- and they do, in so many cases. But this product was presumably safe. It was prescribed to many. Parents put it in their baby's bottles thinking they were doing something good, something to help their baby eat, something to help their infant with GERD or reflux. I hope all parents learn about this and don't treat their children with SimplyThick because a friend did so and they haven't heard about this warning. That's what scares me the most. How many things do we all try because another parent said it worked for them?

We all know a baby's gut is so sensitive. Which is why solids shouldn't be introduced until at least 6 months of age. I remember seeing a post on my local parent board about how a dad suggested to just add extra scoops of formula powder to a child's bottle so he would sleep better. Adding anything to formula is a bad idea. There are specific directions on how to mix and prepare formula that must be followed for a reason -- for the health and safety of your child. But this product was thought to be safe. We're learning too late that doesn't seem to be true.

Have you ever heard of SimplyThick or added anything to baby's formula or breastmilk?


Image via Amazon

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nonmember avatar Ram

It's scary that people can buy it or have it prescribed and not know the dangers, but even scarier that it is being given in NICUs. You'd think doctors and nurses would be more on top of products that have been given a warning by the FDA.

nonmember avatar zannah

Why would the even make a product like that when it contains honey? Honey itself can cause botulism in healthy infants.

Ranti... RantingSyko

That really scares me, my daughter had GERD and I looked for ANYTHING that would help her, luckily I never came upon this particular product, I had no idea it existed.  But I agree with the above, once they KNOW it's dangerous, STOP USING IT!!!  omg! 

Tempe... TempestRayne

The hospital ICU and step down nurses added neosure to my breastmil when my son was in there. He stopped getting it when he got home because he wouldn't bottle feed effectively but took off on nursing.

Malia Cole

Isn't honey on the no list until 12 months? Seems an odd additive flavor for baby formula.

nonmember avatar kay

Nothing man made huh? I guess the next time your kid is really sick you'll be taking them to a 'herbologist' instead of the doctor huh?

Also this product was not intended for babies. Folks in the medical field just started using it. It's safe for adults, which is the group it was intended for in the first place.

Sarah Peluso

SimplyThick has killed my child. Support us in our process of the lawsuit!

nonmember avatar Sarah

Its not HONEY flavor, gals... that word honey means honey thickness! Theres also nectar thickness and pudding thickness which are more thick.

Tracy Scott Dole

We used Simply Thick with our heart baby. He had to be bottle fed...I pumped, but he never was even interested in nursing. He was so sensitive and guarded about oral feeding, the only way to get him to take anything was by thickening it. I am deeply saddened that babies have lost their lives, but some babies *need* this added to their feeds. Don't judge families who do what they have to to get their baby's to eat.

nonmember avatar Carinne

My son was born with a serious heart defect. He had his 2nd open heart surgery at 5 months old. The surgery affected nerves that control swallowing. He threw up constantly, and wasn't growing. In three months he hadn't gained any weight. A swallow study was done, and it was discovered that he was aspirating everything he drank. It was a miracle he hadnt developed p eumonia because if the amount of fluid he was taking into his lungs. So, we added simply thick (which doesn't have honey, that refers to the thickness/consistency). He began thriving. After a few months, his swallowing returned to normal, and we stopped using it. Without simply thick my son wasn't surviving. It was a lifesaver for us. Perhaps people need to be made more aware of the potential risks before deciding to use it, but it was essential for my son.

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