Infant Formula & NEC: What Parents Should Know

Sean T. Keith
Sean T. Keith

Personal Injury Lawyer for 30+ years. Nationally recognized Top 100 Trial Lawyer. Top Car Accident Lawyer & Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Arkansas.

What Parents Should Know About Infant Formula & NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis)

What do NEC and Infant Formula have to connect them?

Bringing your baby home from the hospital is an exciting and intimidating time in a new parent’s life.

New parents have so many safety concerns for their bundle of joy, but the last thing parents should fear is the formula they are providing their child.

Some mothers cannot breastfeed and have to use infant formula to ensure their babies are receiving the nutrients they need.

When this happens, worrying about NEC should not be a concern.

Unfortunately, some parents of premature babies run into this serious issue.

It can be serious and life-threatening if not caught in time.

If you are a parent to a premature baby who has experienced complications or loss due to NEC, here’s what you can do to seek justice with an NEC infant formula recall lawsuit.

infant formula
Table of Contents

What Is NEC?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious disease that attacks the intestines of a premature infant that is fed formula as opposed to breastmilk during the first two weeks of life.

Since premature babies are typically underdeveloped, their intestines and lungs are weaker compared to full-term babies, which means they are more susceptible to contracting diseases.

Premature babies have a more challenging time breaking down the food they are given.

Since their bodies are not as developed, the bacteria that seeps in from certain formulas can cause inflammation and a gap that allows this bacteria to settle in the abdomen.

Common symptoms of NEC can include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
  • Bloody stool
  • Green or yellow vomit

Most cases of NEC occur in the hospital.

However, if your medical examiner notices any issues with your premie, they may run some blood tests or X-rays to diagnose this disease.

So, How Is Infant Formula Involved?

NEC is primarily caused by the lack of development of the intestines in an infant, but the risk of contracting NEC from breastfeeding is significantly lower.

It’s believed that the makeup of specific infant formula brands and how they are delivered is a cause of NEC, which means formula companies have an obligation to warn parents about the possible risk.

Unfortunately, there have been some formula companies that did not do this.

Thus, severe illness and death of premature babies have occurred.

Enfamil and Similac are two of the brands that have been recalled for the cause of NEC in premature infants.

In addition, the FDA has compiled a list of other baby formula brands that have been suspected to cause NEC.

What Are NEC Treatments?

Treatment for premature babies experiencing NEC can vary depending on the severity of the case and how premature the baby is.

If the NEC is not that progressive, antibiotics might be administered to reduce the infection.

Mass tort attorney, concept of NEC formula lawsuit

More in-depth treatments for NEC can include:

  • A tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach to remove fluids
  • IV treatment
  • Breathing machine for easier breathing

NEC is not a contagious disease, but infants who are around other babies suffering from this disease may be removed from the area.

If NEC is detected, then all feedings will stop until the baby has recovered.

In mild cases, recovery can take up to five to seven days.

Premature babies suffering from more severe NEC cases may require surgery so doctors can remove dead tissue and parts of the intestine.

It can be traumatizing for parents to have to watch their new infant handle this disease, especially if the premature birth itself was already traumatic.

The good news is that babies who experience NEC have the possibility of making a full recovery but may experience future blockage of the bowels.

This is another concern that medical professionals can assist your child with, and if your baby requires surgery, doctors may go ahead and perform the surgery to prevent these blockage issues.

Who Qualifies to File an NEC Lawsuit?

If your child was fed Enfamil or Similac in the hospital or at home, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit for compensation.

Both products have been recalled after being discovered to cause gastrointestinal issues for premature babies and a variety of other illnesses.

To know if your child was fed Enfamil or Similac in the hospital, it’s important to keep all medical records and to ask your healthcare providers what they are providing your child.

In addition, parents who have fed their infants these formulas at home are urged to keep all receipts of the purchases and the containers for lawyers to use.

If you would like to investigate your claim further then you will need the assistance of a mass tort lawyer in Arkansas.

Mass tort lawsuits are claims filed by multiple plaintiffs against one similar defendant.

Since there have been several NEC infant formula recall lawsuits in Arkansas, you can rest in the fact that you are not the only parent seeking justice against these formula brands.

To strengthen your case, be prepared to give your lawyer your medical records that express the interventions that were given to your premature child as a result of the formula infection.

Your lawyer will need this proof in order to negotiate a higher settlement to cover pain and suffering and damages that were caused as a result of NEC.

Questions? Call an Arkansas Mass Tort Lawyer

You may have a lot of questions about your legal fight against these formula companies.

The bottom line is that Enfamil and Similac both failed to warn parents about the possibility of premature infants developing NEC as a result of formula feedings.

No parent should have to worry or suffer the guilt over the nutrition they have provided their child with.

You may be wondering, “where can I find the best mass tort attorneys near me?”

If you would like to start seeking justice against the responsible party, contact Keith Law Group to get started reviewing your case.

You can reach our firm at (479) 326-7734.

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