Birmingham Baby Formula / NEC Lawyer
Baby Formula / NEC Attorney Serving Alabama
Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Infants
DeGaris Law is currently investigating reports of preterm and low-weight infants diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) after consuming cow-milk based infant formula.
What is NEC?
NEC is a distressing disease that affects the intestines of primarily premature infants (less than 37 full weeks of gestation). It occurs when bacteria invade the wall of the intestines. In more severe cases, the intestines can become inflamed and perforate, allowing bacteria and other substances to leak into the abdomen or bloodstream.
Treatment includes stopping all regular feedings for a period and giving the infant nutrients via an intravenous catheter. A nasogastric tube is inserted through the baby’s nose into his stomach to suction any fluids, and antibiotics are given to treat the infection. Frequent x-rays are performed to monitor the progression of the disease, and extra oxygen or mechanically assisted breathing will be provided as needed. Isolation procedures will be taken to prevent the spread of infection.
NEC accounts for nearly 20% of annual NICU costs. NEC survivors requiring surgery often stay in the NICU for more than 90 days and are among those most likely to stay there for more than 6 months.
Approximately 30% of babies diagnosed with NEC require surgery. 20-30% of all NEC cases are fatal. Of those who survive, about half will develop long-term complications. Long term complications include intestinal perforation; cerebral palsy; sepsis; resection and/or surgery; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; short bowel syndrome; and metabolic bone disease.
In studies comparing donor milk versus formula feeds in preterm infants, preterm infants fed with formula had more than double the incidence of NEC. Studies have shown that NEC survivors have a morbidity rate of 20-50%. The risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes is higher in those infants with NEC who receive surgical intervention.
What Baby Formulas are Affected?
ENFAMIL INFANT FORMULAS
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder Enfacare Powder
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
- Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
- Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
- Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
- Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
SIMILAC INFANT FORMULAS
- Similac Special Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Alimentum Expert Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
- Similac Human Milk Fortified Powder
- Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
- Similac Special Care 20
- Similac Special Care 24
- Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
- Similac Special Care 30
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein-Concentrated Liquid
What is the Link Between Baby Formula and NEC?
90% of infants who develop NEC have been fed bovine-based milk formula, but the products still fail to warn consumers of the risk. NEC is the most frequent and lethal gastrointestinal disorder affecting preterm infants and is characterized by intestinal barrier disruption leading to intestinal necrosis, multi-system organ failure, and death. The typical patient who develops NEC is a premature infant who displays a rapid progression from mild feeding intolerance to systemic sepsis. Up to 30% of infants diagnosed will die from this disease.
In recent years scientific research has confirmed strong links between cow-based products and NEC and premature infant death. There have been multiple studies since 1990 that have shown an increased risk of NEC in this population from bovine milk-based formula.
Despite the strong medical evidence establishing the extreme dangers that cow milk-based products pose for premature infants, Abbott and Mead Johnson have marketed and continue to market their products as an equally safe alternative to breast milk. One article estimated that formula manufacturers spent $4.48 billion on marketing and promotion in 2014 alone.
Get a Free Consultation with an Alabama Baby Formula / NEC Lawsuit Attorney
If your child developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis as a preterm or low-weight infant, contact DeGaris Law today for a free consultation.
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