Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) | The Jeffcoat Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

We’re Here to Help if your infant had necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)

Can baby formula really make premature infants sick or cause death? If your prematurely born child is or was sick with intestinal issues the baby formula that was fed to them in the hospital may be to blame. If your child was born prematurely there is a very good chance that they were given a baby formula like Similac or Enfamil. Cow’s milk based baby formula can be very dangerous for premature babies. We know, it’s shocking. When we first learned about it, we could hardly believe it. We didn’t want to either. Formula for the littlest, tiny babies should be safe for them. But it appears that it isn’t always safe. Baby formula made from cow’s milk like Similac and Enfamil has been linked to Necrotizing Enterocolitis, commonly called NEC.

What is NEC?

NEC can be a very serious condition which causes a baby’s intestine to essentially stop functioning. It can also cause a hole to form in the intestine. This allows bacteria to leak into the body, which can lead to very serious injury. Too frequently infants in the NICU die from this condition or require surgery to remove the hurt intestines which can then seriously impact the rest of their lives.

What are Symptoms of NEC?

NEC often happens inside of a NICU and is much more common with small, premature babies. Some of the common symptoms of NEC are:

  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • Lack of eating
  • Constipation
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Slow heart rate
  • Drop in body temperature
  • Breathing problems
  • Vomit that contains bile

How big of a problem is NEC?

NEC happens rather commonly in prematurely born infants. 1 out of 1000 premature infants get NEC.

How does baby formula cause NEC?

Babies that are fed baby formula made with cow’s milk are 6 to 10 times more likely to get NEC than those that are not. Cow’s milk is not as safe as mother’s milk or human donor milk for infants. The Academy of American Pediatricians recommends that human milk should be fed exclusively to premature infants. Dr. Mark A. Underwood from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California Davis said:

Fortified mother’s own milk is the optimal diet for the premature infant to maximize growth, development, and protection against necrotizing enterocolitis [NEC] and infection.”

The big companies that make formula apparently don’t want you the parents or the doctors and the nurses that work in the NICU to know that their product may cause NEC. Companies like Similac and Enfamil know that their formulas can cause serious injury or death to infants. Despite this, they don’t warn parents or doctors about the risks of formula despite knowing that babies are much more likely to get NEC if they consume cow milk-based formula. They want you and your doctors to assume it’s safe, when the evidence tells us that it is not. Their lack of actions says that they would rather take advantage of you and your baby for profit then warn you about the risks.

Mothers milk (MOM) or Human donor milk (HDM) is always the safest thing for your infant. The Academy of American Pediatricians “reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months.” They also found that feeding preterm infants exclusively human milk reduced the likelihood of them getting NEC.

Frequently the moms of babies that are born preterm can’t provide their own milk for their child. When this happens it is important to find a NICU that has human donor milk. Always make sure to ask what they are feeding your child.

You may have never been told if your child was fed a cow’s milk formula. If your child died from or had NEC in the NICU, contact us. We can help find out if they were fed a cow’s milk formula like Similac or Enfamil against the recommendation of The Academy of American Pediatricians.

Most people don’t know just how much the deck is stacked against them when their infant gets hurt or even dies. That’s when they find out about the aggressive tactics big companies often use to not pay for the injuries and pain they caused. But there are ways to win anyway. That’s where we come in. With our help, parents get what they truly deserve: a fair chance to be fully compensated. Together, we can hold dangerous people and companies accountable to pay for the harm they caused.

If your child was fed a cow’s milk formula and developed NEC you may qualify for compensation. We’re here to help. Call us for a free consultation.

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