Infant Formula & Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Infant Formula Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Lawsuit

You would never expect infant formula to injure your underweight or premature baby. Instead, parents believe that infant formula is safe. But many parents are facing the reality that Similac and Enfamil formulas can cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in their underweight or prematurely born newborns. Parents are filing lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories alleging that the company failed to warn about the risks of NEC associated with its infant formula. 


Similac and Enfamil Can Cause Increased Threat of NEC in Underweight or Premature Newborns

Enfamil and Similac are popular infant formula brands made from cow milk and given to newborns as a human breast milk substitute. Studies show that feeding premature infants cow milk formulas increase the baby’s risk of this dangerous gastrointestinal infection. 

Necrotizing enterocolitis causes intestinal tissue to die. This severe bacterial infection can develop quickly in the small or large intestines, impacting the thickness of the intestines in the already fragile premature baby. NEC causes excruciating pain and severe inflammation. This condition causes a hole to develop in the intestinal wall as the tissue dies. Harmful bacteria then leak into the abdomen, eventually causing a sepsis infection. Premature infants with NEC need surgery to repair the damage done by the toxic baby formula. When it doesn’t cause death, NEC can lead to: 

  • growth failure
  • developmental delays
  • short bowel syndrome
  • deficient neurodevelopment 
  • intestinal stricture (narrowing of the intestines)
  • peritonitis (abdominal condition)

Enfamil Lawyer NEC
Similac Manufacturer Fails to Warn About the Risk of NEC

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly warns against using cow-based milk formulas like Similar and Enfamil with prematurely born infants. But Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company failed to heed that caution. These manufacturers have a responsibility to caution people about the risks of NEC. Instead of full disclosure, Abbott and Mead Johnson failed to include any notice about NEC.


Parents have sued the manufacturer when their premature infant was given Enfamil or Similac and developed NEC.


NEC baby formula


Who Gets NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis develops in the first 2 to 4 weeks of life. The cases are generally developed in babies born before 32 weeks. Full-term babies who have health problems, like heart defects, also can get NEC. 


Which Types of Baby Formula Are Toxic? 

Cow-based baby formulas from Similac and Enfamil brands products, like Enfamil NueroPro Enfacare and Similac Special Care.

Similac Attorney for Lawsuit

What are the Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)? 

An intestine with NEC can no longer contain waste. So that waste may make the baby very sick. The remedy for NEC is removing the injured intestine, or at least sections of it. Signs and symptoms of NEC are: 

  • a red, swollen, or tender belly
  • apnea (pauses in breathing)
  • bradycardia (slowed heart rate)
  • constipation
  • diarrhea or dark or bloody poop
  • food staying in the belly longer than anticipated
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • green vomit (containing bile)
  • lethargy 
  • low or unstable body temperature
  • problem feeding


Studies Connecting Infant Formula to Necrotizing Enterocolitis

In a 2019 study of almost 2,000 babies, the evidence showed that preterm babies fed with formula have double the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis. The risk of NEC with cow’s-milk-based formula was 320% greater than that of other premature infants, according to one 2014 study. NEC developed six to ten times more in formula-fed infants in a 1990 study. 


Hiring an Attorney for Toxic Infant Formula Lawsuit

Our personal injury law office helps clients nationwide who have been hurt by a defective products like these infant formulas. David P. Willis is board certified as a personal injury trial law specialist. For almost 40 years, we’ve put in a lot of effort to get the best results for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you and your loved ones. Call us at 1-800-883-9858 to tell us your story. 

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