Premature infants often have trouble nursing or need extra nutrition to address a variety of health conditions, in turn, many parents supplement their nutrition with baby formula. When parents make this choice, they have a right to expect that baby formulas will be safe for their child. However, cow’s-milk based formulas, Similac and Enfamil specifically intended for preterm babies, have been linked to the deadly condition necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC.
What is NEC?
NEC, or necrotizing enterocolitis is a severe medical condition affecting the intestines of premature infants. The symptoms of NEC include:
NEC causes intestinal tissue to die, allowing bacteria to spill into the baby’s abdomen, and leading to a myriad of health problems, including:
Many infants who develop NEC make a full recovery, however, the effects of the condition often require surgery to repair the damage done to the child’s abdomen and intestine. Some babies who have undergone surgery may be unable to absorb nutrients normally and may require a bowel transplant to survive. There is no way to prevent NEC, although research has shown that preterm babies who were only fed breast milk are less likely to develop the disease than those who ingested formula.
NEC Lawsuits Being Filed
Many lawsuits are being filed against formula makers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company by parents whose premature babies suffered severe injuries or death after receiving the companies’ cow’s-milk based formula products. These lawsuits allege that the companies never issued warnings outlining the risks associated with cow’s-milk based formulas, even though they were aware, or should have been aware, of the dangers.
Childers, Schlueter & Smith may be able to help. If your child suffered severe injuries after ingesting Enfamil or Similac baby formulas, contact us at 404-419-9500.