Medicine: Death in the Formula

Nearly all week, half of the 29 babies in the nursery of Binghamton (N.Y.) General Hospital had been finicky at feeding time. Some gagged on their bottled formula and tried not to swallow it, while a few who swallowed it promptly vomited. The nurses became edgy and puzzled, but were not at first alarmed.

On Friday, three babies died. Hospital officials began to worry about a virulent infection, but found no evidence of any. On Saturday, three more babies died. Still no one thought of checking the formula, partly because some babies were taking theirs well. Finally, Practical Nurse May Pier, pausing...

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