Premature infants often have difficulties nursing or need extra nutrition. Formulas and fortifiers (added to formula or breastmilk), are often used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to aid in weight gain and supplement their nutritional needs. These premature infants have the right to safe formula and fortifiers.
Similac and Enfamil cow’s milk-based infant formulas and fortifiers can lead to necrotizing enterocolitis. This condition inflames and kills intestinal tissues.
This post will provide you with the latest updates on the baby formula risks and how you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturers.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
It is a severe and often fatal disease, primarily in premature infants. NEC attacks the intestinal wall leading to inflammation and infection. NEC can result in the partial or total destruction of the baby’s bowel.
What are the Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
NEC grows and develops over time. Early identification can be crucial to treating and restoring the average life expectancy. The following are the symptoms of NEC;
- Metabolic acidosis
- Abdominal distention
- Feeding intolerance and residuals
- Jaundice appearance
- Greenish fluid in the abdominal wall
- Decreased bowel sounds
- Difficulty breathing,
- Slow heart rate
How Can You Diagnose NEC?
In most cases, a pediatrician can diagnose NEC based on the clinical observation of the patient’s symptoms. Further diagnosis includes blood testing and cultures, abdominal imagining, and blood gas levels.
What is the Treatment of NEC?
You can employ the following procedures in the treatment of NEC:
- Discontinue all oral feeding and administer strong antibiotics to the baby immediately.
- Nasogastric drainage along with circulatory support.
- Surgery in case of severe damage to tissues in the intestines to remove the dead intestinal tissues. It may result in short gut syndrome and other complications.
Is There Research Linking Baby Formula to NEC?
There has been thorough research concerning cow’s milk based formulas and fortifiers including Similac and Enfamil baby formula products manufactured by Abbott and Mead Johnson. These products have been, on most occasions, found to be a contributing factor in cases of NEC in premature infants. The following studies show evidence linking baby formula to NEC;
- In 2019, Cochrane reviewed all evidence from clinical trials comparing formula with donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. A Cochrane review of 12 completed reviews that involved 1,871 babies found that feeding preterm infants formula nearly doubles the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis.
- A study carried out In March 2021 showed that you could prevent a NEC case for every ten infants fed human breast milk. The study established that preterm babies entirely fed on human breast milk showed a 77% reduction in NEC cases.
- In October 2021, new evidence found that premature babies who receive cow milk formulas are at a significantly higher risk of NEC than those who are feed their mother’s breast milk exclusively.
Who can file an NEC lawsuit?
If your premature baby consumed a cow’s milk based formula or fortifier, contracted NEC and suffered abdominal injuries or died, you could file an NEC lawsuit against the manufacturers.
What is the Current Status of Baby Formula Lawsuits?
Anapol Weiss has been at the forefront of many significant lawsuits against manufacturers that allowed their products to harm infants. Our firm keeps clients updated on all developments regarding NEC litigations.
In 2021, there were approximately 50 lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson for failing to protect premature babies from the risks of their cow’s milk based formula and fortifier products.
In March 2022, both Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories filed motions to consolidate NEC cases in a single court, commonly referred to as multidistrict litigation (MDL). The MDL will be located in the Northern District of Illinois.
What Is the Compensation in Baby Formula Lawsuits?
With law firms’ help, parents whose premature infants have been diagnosed with NEC have filed lawsuits against the companies manufacturing and marketing cow’s milk-based formulas and fortifiers. It aims at obtaining financial compensation to cover medical expenses. Settlement in an NEC baby formula lawsuit may include:
- Medical bills that cover hospital stays, medical tests, therapies and procedures, and the prescribed medications
- The cost of 24-hour care, feeding, and monitoring
- After recovery, healthcare expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
If you are a victim of necrotizing enterocolitis from baby formula or fortifier, you can reach out to us. You can get answers from the attorneys at Anapol Weiss. Call our firm for a free, confidential consultation. There is no obligation when you contact us. We will explain your legal rights and the next steps toward holding the manufacturers responsible for the devastation caused to your family.