This past Friday the FDA announce that it is advising parents, caregivers and health care providers not to feed SimplyThick, a thickening product, to premature infants. The product may cause necrotizing enterocolitis(NEC), a life-threatening condition.
FDA first learned of adverse events possibly linked to the product on May 13, 2011. To date, the agency is aware of 15 cases of NEC, including two deaths, involving premature infants who were fed SimplyThick for varying amounts of time. The product was mixed with mothers’ breast milk or infant formula products.
Illnesses have been reported from at least four different medical centers around the country. The illnesses of which FDA is aware involve premature infants who became sick over the past six months. SimplyThick was added to the feeding regimen of those infants who later developed NEC to help with swallowing difficulties stemming from complications of premature birth.
The current situation is unusual because NEC most often occurs in babies within the hospital early in their premature course. But among the ill babies of which FDA is aware, some had been discharged from the hospital to home on a feeding regimen that included SimplyThick and then fell ill at home.
What are the Symptoms of Illness/Injury?
NEC is a life-threatening condition characterized by inflammation and death of intestinal tissue. The condition is most often diagnosed in babies who are born prematurely. Signs and symptoms of NEC include appearance of a bloated abdominal area, appearance of illness, feeding intolerance, greenish-tinged (bile) vomiting and bloody stools.
Who is at Risk?
Premature infants currently receiving hospital care and premature infants discharged from the hospital within the past 30 days should not be fed SimplyThick.
What Do Parents, Care Givers and Health care Providers Need To Do?
Do not feed SimplyThick to premature infants. Parents and caregivers who have questions or concerns related to the use of the product and/or who have medical concerns should contact their health care provider.
Who Should be Contacted?
Parents and caregivers who have questions or concerns related to the use of the product and/or who have medical concerns should contact their health care provider.
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