Formula Shortage Leaving Tennessee Children Hospitalized

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

As a result of the current baby formula shortage, at least two children are being treated by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, in what many parents and doctors are now considering a health crisis.

“Right now I can tell you that there are two that we have who are here. We have kids that are maybe doing ok,” said Dr. Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Le Bonheur.

According to Corkins, both of the children suffer from intestinal problems and the formula shortage has left them struggling. The toddler and preschooler both require special formula that their parents are unable to find in stores.

“We’re supporting them with IV fluids and IV nutrition, which is not ideal…this is frustrating because we know that there’s a better way,” Corkins continued.

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In an effort to bring the shortage to a quicker end, the federal health regulators have reached an agreement with Abbott Nutrition, one of the leading manufacturers of baby formula. Their largest U.S. plant was shut down in February for a health and safety investigation after recalling several of their powdered formula brands over concerns that the products were tainted with a bacteria.

Although the reopening will help, it will likely be six to eight weeks before any formula from that plant hits the shelves. 


“That means they have to make the formula. They have to package the formula. They have to ship the formula. At best, we’re talking about eight weeks. We’ll probably have to limp for two more months,” stated Corkins.

Corkins does recommend that parents talk to their child’s pediatrician before switching formulas or attempting other feeding solutions. 

Additional warnings are coming out from the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. Scammers are using the current formula crisis as a means of taking advantage of unsuspecting parents.

Individuals are posting pictures of formula cans on social media, claiming to have extras that they are willing to sell. While some are legitimately attempting to help other parents, others are requiring payments through a cash app like Venmo and then never shipping the product.

BBB warns parents to check out any potential formula sources carefully. It is also helpful to purchase using a credit card that is backed with some sort of buyer protections.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

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