For a very long time, Enfamil and Similac were some of the most popular baby formulas for parents to choose for their babies. They were often given to premature babies in NICUs.
Yet, for a few decades now, there has been more and more extensive research to show that formulas based on cow’s milk are actually dangerous for infants, especially premature babies.
And this is why there is much attention being paid to premature infants diagnosed with NEC.
Many parents who have sadly experienced this end up turning to finding a lawyer well versed in personal injury law to get compensation and help for their premature babies who have been harmed by NEC as a direct result of Enfamil and Similac.
What Is NEC?
NEC is basically an acronym for necrotizing enterocolitis, which is a very severe intestinal disease that is often found in premature babies.
It happens when there is a small, or a large amount of intestinal tissue that becomes injured or inflamed. As the inflammation gets worse, a perforation can develop inside the intestinal wall of the infant.
Therefore, the intestines of babies who develop NEC are unable to hold in bodily waste (fecal matter), and therefore, bacteria are able to access their abdomen, and their bloodstream.
It can reach different levels of severity, but it can easily become life-threatening due to infection, and it can even cause death.
Similac & Enfamil Baby Formula (The Lawsuits)
There are many law firms who have, in recent years, been investigating the toxic formula cases and many claims against both Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company, who are the manufacturers of Similac & Enfamil.
There is a failure on behalf of the manufacturers in warning their consumers that the formula, which is based off of cow’s milk, may have detrimental NEC effects on premature babies.
You see, when a baby is born prematurely they require extra nutrition in order to support and help their bodies which are underdeveloped. A great deal of doctors will recommend baby formula as the first and foremost best option to parents when a newborn does not take to the breast well.
What makes all this worse is how these aforementioned companies have not put any warnings on their formula products and therefore, parents have without a doubt been subjecting their newborns to great risk for years!
Any manufacturer of baby formulas is responsible for being very thorough and cautious with the safety of their products. This makes both the companies of Similac and Enfamil both subject to being sued for negligence.
We cannot note one specific law firm who has been handling this, as it is in fact, many law firms, as there have been countless lawsuits filed against these companies due to NEC showing up in babies who have consumed these products.
The litigation of this is expected to become a multidistrict litigation which will seek out the largest settlements that are probable to cover all damages as a result.
Symptoms of NEC
So, considering this, what are the symptoms? Well, if your child is born as a premature baby, the professionals who aid you, including doctors and midwives, will be in charge of the baby’s care and will look out for a selection of symptoms for NEC.
These symptoms include the following;
- Yellow or green vomit.
- Fluctuating temperature.
- A reduction in heart rate, and a reduction in blood pressure.
- Diarrhea, as well as dark stools, or blood in stools.
- Any difficulty eating or putting on weight.
- Any increase in pressure in the abdomen, including a swollen, tender, or even a red abdomen.
There are also different types of NEC to look out for as well. NEC in babies born prematurely is known as one of these types.
- The first type is Atypical NEC, which happens in the baby’s first week of life. This is exceptionally rare.
- The second type is Transfusion-associated NEC, this is when the baby starts to lose/ lack red blood cells, therefore becoming anemic, and develops this disease after a blood transfusion.
- Finally, there is classic NEC. This is when the baby is seemingly stable and fine, but they develop NEC with no warning. This is the most common form and will usually affect babies that are born before 28 weeks of pregnancy, and it will usually occur in 3-8 weeks after they are born.
How Common Is This?
In the U.S. the CDC claims there are around 1 of 10 infants born premature on average.
NEC tends to affect 9,000 out of every 480,000 preterm infants per year.
This makes a percentage of 1.87% of babies.