Every time celebrities or athletes look in the mirror, primping themselves after a vitamin drip helped them look younger and more beautiful, they might want to remind themselves that somewhere an infant may be dying because it didn’t get that same batch of nutrients.
Alexandra Robbins wrote in the May issue of Washingtonian magazine that hospitals have been forced to ration the nutrients that premature infants at mortal risk need for them to remain alive. She wrote that the practice has become a major issue in the last three years, and added, “This is a national emergency, this is a public health crisis and the government isn’t doing anything about it.”
The article says 300 different drug, vitamin and trace-elements are in historically short supply across the nation. As a result, clinicians say at least 15 infants have died since 2010.
Interviewed by WTOP, Robbins explained that calcium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium are the most common nutrients in short supply. Because premature infants lack nutrient reserves, Robbins said, the shortage of nutrients can be fatal. She said, “There was a baby whose heart stopped because of lack of phosphorus. Across the Washington area, I’ve heard of plenty of babies with calcium deficiencies who are experiencing poor bone growth and developmental problems because of this lack of nutrients.”
Robbins said that the problem is being hushed up by hospitals so there isn’t a resultant panic. Yet she also notes the abuse of these nutrients by the jet set, which gets the nutrients from the same poll that feeds them to hospitals:
You’ll hear about this trend called the vitamin drip, where celebrities, models, musicians and athletes are getting IV nutrition delivered intravenously because it’s supposed to reenergize them, it’s supposed to beautify them. So essentially, premature babies are suffering because they can’t get access to the same nutrients that some celebrities are using to pretty-up before a photo shoot.
Some celebrities even use the nutrients to cure hangovers.
Robbins blamed the government’s lack of a central database for the problem:
(Hospital staff) are heartbroken. They can’t believe this is going on, that they can’t get access to these very basic nutrients. Really everybody is just astounded that the government has let this go so far. Manufacturers blame the FDA, the FDA blames manufacturers, a congressional committee blames the FDA, but meanwhile none of these three entities have been able to solve this problem that’s causing people to starve.
To her astonishment, Robbins found that countries in South America and Europe are not in short supply of the nutrients. She said, “When I talked to doctors in these countries, they couldn’t believe this was going on in the U.S.