For a surprisingly long time now, retail establishments have had a hard time keeping infant formula in stock, which has made parents and many professional care providers quite nervous. This necessary product serves as an alternative to breast milk produced by the mother and is often the only source of nutrition available to newborn infants.
Unfortunately, the reason behind the shortage is just as frightening as the inability to get food for a newborn baby. There have been multiple cases of severe infections in young children related to contaminated formula. As a result, there have been a series of formula recalls related to Cronobacter sakazakii contamination.
What impact might contaminated formula with Cronobacter sakazakii present have on an infant?
Babies have an adverse reaction to Cronobacter sakazakii
Some kinds of bacteria have a beneficial effect on the human body and can aid in digestion. Others, like Cronobacter sakazakii, largely disrupt the body’s homeostasis and can cause severe damage. Cronobacter sakazakii tends to affect the body in one of two ways.
Some babies will develop meningitis due to consuming Cronobacter sakazakii. The membranes that protect their brain and spinal cord will swell. Other infants will struggle with a blood infection.
Both those that have a systemic infection in their blood and those with meningitis-like symptoms will likely require hospitalization.
It could take days or possibly weeks to stabilize an infant depending on their age and prior health before the infection. There have been infant fatalities related to this infection, as roughly one in five babies that develop meningitis-like symptoms will die as a result. Even for the infants that survive, their hospitalization can also disrupt physical and social development, as separation from caregivers at a young age has a strong association with developmental delays and other health issues.
Affected families have legal rights
Companies that release food and drug products to the public, especially those intended for consumption by the most vulnerable among us, like infants, must engage inadequate safety testing to ensure that the products they released to the public won’t put consumers at risk.
Families harmed due to formula contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii may have grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer involved. Such claims can help cover medical expenses and also lost wages not earned by parents who had to care for a child instead of going to work. Taking action related to recent infant formula recalls can benefit those harmed by negligent business practices.