Baby Formula Linked to Serious Illness in Premature Infants
The product liability attorneys at Goza & Honnold are currently investigating cases related to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants. NEC, which can be life-threatening or cause lifelong medical issues, has been linked to certain baby formulas. If your child was given baby formula after birth and diagnosed with NEC or admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you could have a potential legal claim against the formula manufacturer. Contact Goza & Honnold today for a free case consultation.
What is NEC?
NEC is a serious condition involving a buildup of bacteria in the intestines. A child with NEC will develop inflammation and infection that can cause irreversible damage to the bowel and gastrointestinal tract. If the intestines develop a hole, bacteria can also spread into the child’s bloodstream, leading to severe injury.
Can baby formula cause NEC?
Scientific researchers have uncovered a connection between certain types of baby formula and NEC in premature infants. Research spanning several decades shows premature infants who receive formula containing cow milk have a much greater risk of developing NEC. This is likely because the underdeveloped GI systems in premature infants cannot handle the bacteria in cow milk.
Our office is investigating cases involving the following cow milk formulas, among others:
- Similac NeoSure
- Similac SC (Special Care) 20
- Similac SC 24
- Similac SC 30
- Similac fortifiers
- Enfamil NeoPro
- Enfamil 20
- Enfamil 24
- Enfamil 30
- Enfamil fortifiers
Despite the long-established link between cow milk formulas and NEC, the NEC lawsuits claim manufacturers of these products have not precluded use as a first-line substitute for breast milk or adequately warned the medical community or the public about the risks. As a result, numerous children and families have suffered. We are working with other firms to hold the manufacturers accountable.
What are the symptoms of NEC?
In an infant, NEC will present in different ways. Symptoms typically include:
- Inability to tolerate feedings
- Abdominal/belly distention
- Tender abdomen
- Redness of the abdomen
- Bloody stool
- Respiratory complications
- Low heart rate
Children with NEC will often be treated with antibiotics, IV fluids, and insertion of tubes and drains. Many will also need surgery to address damaged intestinal tissue. In the most serious cases, NEC can lead to the death of the child.
What injuries are associated with NEC?
A significant percentage of children diagnosed with NEC tragically do not survive. Others will struggle long after leaving the hospital with injuries like:
- Intestinal stricture
- Short-Gut or Short-Bowel Syndrome
- Ongoing infection
- Chronic GI issues
- Malabsorption of nutrients
- Developmental delays
The long-term effects of NEC on a child depend on the nature and severity of the disease.
Do I have a potential case?
If your child was born premature, received formula following birth, and was diagnosed with NEC, you could have a claim for damages against the formula manufacturer. Goza & Honnold can help you understand your legal options during a free consultation. You can speak with an experienced member of our team today by calling (913) 451-3433 or by filling out our online Contact Form.