I 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?
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