Babies born prematurely will often need supplemental nutrition and specialized care to ensure proper development and compensate for their low birth weight. During this period, many medical professionals will encourage the parents of a premature baby to introduce baby formula as a supplemental nutrition source. Recent evidence suggests that some bovine-based formula brands, including Similac and Enfamil, could cause these infants to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a gastrointestinal bacterial infection that can cause inflammation and potential tissue death in the intestinal wall. When caught early, NEC can often be treated with antibiotics; however, abdominal repair surgery may be required to fix decayed tissue that has developed.
NEC will often be associated with other serious health problems and potential complications, including perforation of intestinal tissue, cerebral palsy, sepsis from bacteria entering the bloodstream, and potentially death. Of the approximately 480,000 preemies born annually in the United States, around 9,000 will develop NEC.
Some of the symptoms of NEC include:
Can Baby Formula Cause Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
The parents of a premature baby often have a lot of things to be stressed about. Choosing a safe baby formula should not be one of them. Unfortunately, Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company still have not added a disclaimer about this life-threatening side effect to their existing product labels, leading unsuspecting parents to inadvertently put their own baby at risk of developing NEC.
Multiple lawsuits have now been filed by parents whose premature babies developed NEC after ingesting Similac or Enfamil. Based on recent scientific data, infants given these formulas are six to ten times more likely to develop this life-threatening infection. This is an alarming statistic since many medical professionals still recommend the formula as an alternative to breast milk.
To date, these products are still available nationwide on store shelves despite the known risks they pose for premature and developing infants. Without a disclaimer on the packaging, many innocent parents are continuing to feed a toxic product to their children with little knowledge of the potential side effects that could occur.
Do You Qualify for a Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit?
Families nationwide have already started filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil. If your child was harmed or died after developing NEC because of these products, you might be entitled to take legal action. While compensation will not reverse the damage that has occurred, it can help the families of these infants offset the financial burdens it creates.
If your infant has developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis, Graves McLain has the experience and resources to help hold the negligent manufacturers accountable and stop their negligent and unethical behavior that continues to put other premature infants at risk. If your newborn was fed bovine-based formula at the hospital, or you were given unsafe formula to take home, and your child developed NEC, you could be eligible to join the lawsuit.