More parents are growing concerned about a diagnosis of hypophosphatemia which could be connected to use of Neocate infant formula.
A diagnosis of low levels of phosphate could lead to a serious medical condition known as rickets, a condition in which bones don’t develop well and are more likely to fracture.
This medical condition can be especially dangerous for infants and newborns. Parents might not even notice the signs of this medical condition until the child has advanced rickets or has broken some bones. These incidents can be disturbing for parents who thought they were helping children by using a hypoallergenic formula.
What Is Hypophosphatemia?
Phosphate is one of the primary electrolytes inside the body. These electrolytes are minerals that carry out electrical charges when dissolved in a person’s fluid, such as blood.
Hypophosphatemia can be diagnosed on a chronic or acute basis. Acute hypophosphatemia refers to the phosphate level in the patient’s blood dropping dangerously low. This can cause problems such as malnutrition. In adults, it can increase the likelihood of burns, alcoholism or diabetic ketoacidosis.
What are the Symptoms of Hypophosphatemia?
Symptoms of Neocate hypophosphatemia appear only when the phosphate level in the baby’s blood has become dangerously low. This can lead to muscle weakness followed by coma, stupor and death. The bones can also weaken after a diagnosis of mild chronic hypophosphatemia. This can lead to bone fractures and bone pain.
How is Hypophosphatemia Diagnosed?
Measuring the phosphate levels in the blood is the only way to verify whether or not a patient has hypophosphatemia from using the Neocate baby formula. However, doctors might carry out other tests to determine the cause if hypophosphatemia is not the first expected diagnosis.
The normal level for serum phosphate in infants is up to 7mg/dL. Hypophosphatemia refers to a serum phosphate level that falls below 2.5 mg/dL.
What is Rickets?
Rickets refers to the weakening and the softening of the bones in children. More often than not, rickets is diagnosed because of a prolonged and extreme deficiency of vitamin D, but it can also be associated with a phosphate deficiency. Adding the missing mineral to the diet of an infant or child who has been diagnosed with rickets can usually correct related problems.
Symptoms and signs of rickets include:
- Muscle weakness
- Delayed growth
- Pain in the pelvis, legs and spine
Rickets can be especially problematic for children and infants who might not be able to share the painful symptoms they are experiencing.
A growing number of consumers who gave the hypoallergenic Neocate baby formula to their children are reporting that these children have developed hypophosphatemia and rickets. Some parents have even been suspected of child abuse due to broken bones that were ultimately traced back to the diagnosis of rickets.
The Neocate baby formula has been promoted as a safe and effective way to provide Nutrition for infants who have allergies to other ingredients. However, parents say they were never told that they would need to supplement their infant’s phosphate levels by using the formula.
If you bought the Neocate formula because your child needed the nutritional benefits but instead developed rickets or low phosphate levels, you could be eligible to participate in a class action investigation.
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