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Reports of Infant Deaths Linked to SimplyThick Prompt FDA Warning


Washington, DC: The Food and Drug Administration has notified parents, caregivers and health care providers not to feed SimplyThick, a thickening agent for management of swallowing disorders, to infants born before 37 weeks. The product may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening condition characterized by inflammation and death of intestinal tissue.

The 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. Illnesses have been reported from at least four different medical centers around the country. The illnesses of which FDA is aware involve premature infants. 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 product is sold in packets of individual servings and in 64-ounce dispenser bottles. The product can be purchased from distributors and local pharmacies throughout the United States.

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.

SimplyThick is one brand of thickening agent available to medical centers and consumers. The product is sold in packets of individual servings and in 64-ounce dispenser bottles. The product can be purchased from distributors and local pharmacies throughout the United States.

For more information on this issue visit: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm256253.htm

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Published on May-20-11


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