Parents are filing lawsuits against manufacturers of baby formula products linked to infant injury and deaths.
Studies have found that when babies are fed cow’s milk-based formula, the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, rises dramatically. Once diagnosed, the prognosis can be grim and even fatal. Many babies have died from this devastating illness. For those infants that survive, there could be surgeries and blood transfusions in their immediate future, along with long-term consequences that can affect their quality of life such as blindness, short bowel syndrome, and cerebral palsy.
Products marketed as safe for infants by Enfamil and Similac have cow’s milk as an ingredient. Manufacturers failed to properly label and warn the general public that cow’s milk-based products could significantly increase the risk of death from NEC in infants, especially premature infants.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
Per the National Institutes of Health, necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, involves infection and inflammation within a child’s gut, which may stem from the growth of bacteria in parts of the intestine. This inflammation can cause parts of intestinal tissue to die, leaking bacteria into a baby’s abdomen or bloodstream. Because premature infants have weaker immune systems and may have an immature gut, their biochemical defenses are not in place to protect them, thus making them more vulnerable to the types of inflammation that lead to NEC. Though not as common, full-term babies can develop NEC, and the chances of their inflammation being caught and managed earlier are higher.
Symptoms of NEC include, but are not limited to:
- Abdominal swelling
- Diarrhea with bloody stool
- Lack of weight gain
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms typically occur two to six weeks after birth and can appear suddenly or gradually over the course of a few days.
If your infant was diagnosed with NEC after being fed baby formula with cow’s milk as an ingredient, please contact the Diaz Law Firm and speak to an attorney today. You can reach us online or by calling our toll-free number at 800-459-2222.