Parents of newborns and infants all over the country are beyond frustrated over Abbott’s handling of the recent recall of Similac formula.
Heavenly McFarland, an Oregon certified child care provider and mother of two children-one, a seven month-old infant, who was fed Similac formula and has experienced chronic diarrhea for the past two weeks-said about Abbott’s helpline, “The person I spoke with, Lori, said that she didn’t know the answers to my questions and gave me a reference number and told me that her supervisor would call me back. Her supervisor Sian did call me and told me that they are not medically trained and cannot answer the questions I had so she gave me the number to the ‘medical line’ at 1-800-986-8853 and told me to call them, but that the wait to speak with someone was going to be long because of the high call volume.”
“What was I expecting from a company who thinks that it’s o.k. for an infant to have an upset stomach from beetle pieces or larva!?! If you are a parent and are as PO’d as I am, I personally would suggest you contact your infant’s pediatrician to ask what you should do for your baby, no matter how little Similac makes this problem seem by saying that it’s a ‘voluntary’ recall. If your baby gets sick, for example, with diarrhea from an upset stomach from Similac that infant could get dehydrated,” stated McFarland.
Dehydration From Diarrhea
Newborns and infants with stomach distress and diarrhea are at a much higher risk for dehydration and need to have fluids replaced immediately. According to WebMD, parents of children under one year of age should not wait for the signs of dehydration to develop before attempting to replace lost fluids.
Abbott Statement on Similac Website
Today on the Similac website, Abbott’s executive vice president Holger Liepmann states, “Abbott understands that parents expect to feed their children only the highest quality product. We are taking this action so that parents know that the infant formula they provide unquestionably meet the highest quality standards…. We regret any inconvenience this situation poses to parents and consumers.”
CBS News quoted Abbott as stating, “While the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts….”
Mr. Liepmann, babies ingesting beetles and their larvae is, in your view, an inconvenience?!? Seriously?
Let me get this straight-babies who consume this beetle-infested formula have “no immediate health risk.” I’m not a doctor but I have two older children and tons of nieces and nephews, a few of which are under a year old. My sister in-law is beside herself with worry over her six month old.
“No immediate risk?” Are you kidding me? Dehydration can lead to hospitalization and even an unfortunate visit to the NICU. This is what Abbott and Similac do with the lives of hundreds of thousands of newborns and infants on the line? Abbott needs to have informed helpline operators who can immediately answer medical questions about the serious health risks possible from ‘stomach distress’ in infants and newborns-including diarrhea and vomiting. Parents need answers-accurate and expeditious answers-not a referral to a two-hour wait on a ‘medical line.’
The hard truth is Similac formula-fed babies are experiencing health issues. My sister in-law returned her tainted Similac formula, purchased Enfamil formula and said she will continue to do so from this moment forward. She is a registered nurse and doesn’t understand why Abbott isn’t first advising consumers to seek medical attention for their children immediately if they observe their baby exhibiting adverse symptoms.
Again, I am not a medical professional but my suggestion would be to visit your pediatrician immediately-with or without symptoms-as a precaution. The American public needs to hear from a qualified pediatrician about the potential risks of the ingesting of beetles and their larvae by infants and newborns rather than a half-baked website statement of reassurance from Abbott’s corporate mouthpiece regarding their tainted product. Lives are at stake here.
WebMD, CBS, and the Abbott website provided information for this article.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional.