Also, health officials are investigating another infant’s death which occurred in the state of Illinois. Since the announcement of the Missouri infant's death, investigators are looking into the cause of death of the four week premature infant who died on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. An autopsy report did not indicate that an infection or disease was a factor in the Illinois infant’s death, but blood tests have been ordered due to the reports of possible powdered milk contamination. However, a third infant, also from Illinois, became ill after powdered formula consumption, but later recovered in a Missouri hospital. Thus far, the government has not issued a recall, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have began conducting their own independent tests from samples of the same batch of formula to determine whether or not the Enfamil product is contaminated.The CDC and FDA claim that it could be several days before the results of the tests are known.
On Sunday, December 25, Mead Johnson Nutrition, the manufacturer, announced that its own testing from samples of the suspected contaminated batch shows that the product is free from the Cronobacter sakazakii bacterium and that its product is safe for consumer use. Cronobacter sakazakii, formerly Enterbacter sakazakii, is a rare bacterium that causes infection that can lead to death and serious illnesses in infants. According to the CDC, Cronobacter “have been frequently isolated from the environment, plant material (wheat, rice, herb and spices) and various food products including powdered infant formula (PIF)”. Also, the CDC reports that even though the infection can affect across all age groups, neonates born with low birth weights or premature are highly susceptible to severe injuries or death because the infection can cause neonatal meningitis, sepsis, necrotizing entercolitis and neurological impairments.
Common symptoms of a cronobacter sakazakii infection include seizures, vomiting, irritability, jaundice, instability of body temperature, brain abscess, and fever. Florida parents can review all other symptoms associated with this devastating disease by visiting the CDC’s website or by contacting their pediatrician or medical provider. If you believe that your child suffers from any of these symptoms, you should contact a physician immediately because this disease can cause fatality. To prevent or reduce the occurrences of Cronobacter sakazakii infection, parents are advised to use PIF according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Our Fort Lauderdale childhood injury lawyers are also here to answer any legal questions you have may if you suspect your child has been infected with Cronobacter sakazakii. Also, it has been reported that other retailers, including Walgreen, Kroger Co., Safeway, and Supervalue, Inc. have also removed the product from its shelves.
As Fort Lauderdale product liability attorneys we recognize that parents have different feeding options for their infants, however when the choice is made to use PIFs, these products should be free from any contaminated materials prior to being sold on the market. If you believed that your child became seriously ill or suffered death due to Cronobacter sakazakii, or from contaminated powdered infant formula, you should contact an attorney to discuss what legal options are available to you.
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Birth Related Neurological Injuries and the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan