Manufacturers of cow’s milk-based baby formula face possible lawsuits if their product was fed to premature babies and the babies developed NEC and either suffered damage or even death as a result.
Here are 10 interesting facts you need to know about NEC.
- NEC is potentially deadly
According to webMD.com,
“Necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, is a serious disease that affects the intestines of premature infants. It typically happens within the first 2 weeks of life in babies who are fed formula instead of breast milk.
In this condition, bacteria invade the wall of the intestine. Inflammation sets in. This can create a crack or gap that allows nasty germs to leak into the abdomen. If not treated, it can lead to serious infection and death.”
- NEC lawsuits are pending against Enfamil and Similac
Enfamil and Similac, major manufacturers of cow-based baby formula for premature babies, are currently being sued for damages. These companies failed to advise customers of the increased risks for premature babies regarding the development of NEC.
These brands have made no retractions of the products despite mounting scientific evidence that increased cases of NEC are linked to the baby formulas.
John Gomez of Gomez Trial Attorneys Accident & Injury Lawyers based in San Diego, CA, is one of the advocates that has been at the forefront of these lawsuits.
He says “if you believe your child has suffered necrotizing enterocolitis resulting in injury or death after being fed a cow-milk formula, an attorney can help you build a claim. Families may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages related to their children’s injuries or tragic death. It is imperative that you contact a baby formula lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.”
- There are better alternatives to a cow-based formula for premature infants
Breastfeeding by the natural mother is by far the best for prem babies but is often not possible due to an inability of the premature baby to properly latch.
Breast milk expressed from the mother is ideal. Although it is much more expensive than cow-based formula, one option is to use breast milk from a donor after it has been tested for any infections. It is also common now to provide probiotics to premature babies.
Many doctors are restricting the use of antibiotics in preemie babies to reduce the risk of NEC.
- Symptoms of NEC
Worried about your baby? These are common symptoms of NEC and usually appear in the baby within the first 2 weeks of life:
- A swollen, red, or tender belly
- Abdominal distention
- Feeding intolerance
- Temperature instability
The baby will present with a swollen or bloated belly.
In addition, the baby might appear to have trouble breathing, could have a low heart rate, or appear sluggish.
Sometimes there is blood in the poop.
The baby may have trouble passing any stool since the food is not passing through the intestine.
All or any of these symptoms do not mean that your infant has NEC, and you should immediately consult with your doctor to assess the situation.
- Who can sue for damages from NEC?
If your child has suffered NEC resulting in either injury or death after being fed a bovine-based formula, especially if the baby was premature, then you may well have a claim.
See an experienced NEC lawyer who will assess your claim and advise you on the way forward.
- There is a prescription period for an NEC legal claim
Although varying prescription periods appear in different states, the general rule of thumb is a prescription period of 4 years from the date of injury within which you are legally allowed to institute legal proceedings.