Baby has severe allergic reaction to substitute formula amid shortage
LINCOLN, Neb. (KETV) - The nationwide baby formula shortage has some parents desperate to find food for their newborns.
That lead one Nebraska woman to find a different product that caused her child to be hospitalized.
Three-month-old Adelina’s doing much better than she was just over a week ago.
On May 15, her mom, Natalya Renteria, was up in the middle of the night looking for Enfamil Gentlease.
She said it was impossible to find, so she settled on a brand she hadn’t used before.
“It was liquid form. And I had already kind of been skeptical about some, like, just because I hadn’t,” Renteria said.
She said Adelina started to get a rash after the first bottle.
“It wasn’t just her face, was half of her body. And that’s when we decided that that we needed to get her into the doctor immediately,” said Jessica Reyes, the girl’s grandmother.
Reyes said they rushed the baby to Chi Health Saint Elizabeth.
“I said, ‘Wait, she’s not breathing,’ and the nurse turned around, snatched her, took off with her. We just went running behind her but it just was, it was heart-wrenching because her face just turned blue and she just was so limp in my arms,” the girl’s grandmother said.
Reyes said doctors gave Adelina an allergy medicine right away.
“Like five doctors came in, and I’m just standing there, like, crying. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to help her. I really couldn’t help her. There’s nothing really I could do,” Renteria said.
It turns out Adelina is allergic to safflower and eggs.
Dr. Michael Schooff, the primary care medical director for Chi Health Metro, said formula changes can cause a range of reactions.
“It can be mild from just a rash on the baby to severe to the point of anaphylaxis, where the throat swells up and the baby can potentially stop breathing,” he said.
Chi Health said fortunately this reaction is rare. Adelina’s is the first case they’ve seen so far since the shortage began.
Her family said they just hope store shelves are full again soon.
“Hopefully that we bounce back and real soon because the babies are in need. Yes, they are,” Reyes said.
Officials at Chi Health and elsewhere are advising parents to a call a physician if a new formula is being used to feed a baby.
They also say a close eye needs to be kept on the child to make sure there are no potential health threats.
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