Baby Formula and NEC – Necrotizing Enterocolitis.

Two cow’s milk-based infant formulas, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories (Similac) and Mead Johnson (Enfamil), have been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is an acute gastrointestinal condition that may lead to death in premature infants.

BACKGROUND

NEC is a serious gastrointestinal condition in which harmful bacteria accumulate in the infant’s intestines causing inflammation, intestinal tissue decay, sepsis, and death.

Many preterm babies have difficulty breastfeeding and are fed formula to assist with their growth and development. It is alleged that the manufacturers’ milk fortifiers and formulas caused or contributed to the infants’ injuries or deaths.

Symptoms of NEC can include:

  • Bloating or swelling of the belly
  • Bloody stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluctuations in temperature
  • Breathing that stops and starts
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sluggishness

Even with treatment, a preterm baby may suffer from the following injuries:

  • Death
  • Inability to absorb food and nutrients (short gut syndrome)
  • Intestinal perforation (a hole in the intestines)
  • Scarring or strictures (narrow areas) in the intestines
  • Sepsis (severe infection affecting the entire body)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neurological damage
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Changes in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, or body temperature
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Refusing to eat
  • Lack of weight gain

Surgeries that an affected infant may require include:

  • Surgical procedure involving the colon
  • Gastrostomy tube (G-Tube) placement
  • Gastroschisis
  • Surgery related to a breathing issue
  • Surgery related to a birth defect
  • Hernia Surgery

Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response stated “As this is a product used as the sole source of nutrition for many of our nation’s newborns and infants, the FDA is deeply concerned about these reports of bacterial infections. We want to reassure the public that we’re working diligently with our partners to investigate complaints related to these products, which we recognize include infant formula produced at this facility, while we work to resolve this safety concern as quickly as possible.”

Parents who had a premature infant diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed Similac or Enfamil may have a claim.

PRODUCT

The following is a list of manufacturers of the affected product:

  • Mead Johnson (Enfamil)
  • Abbott Laboratories (Similac)

Baby formula brands:

  • 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 Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier 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

If your premature baby was fed one of these baby formula products and was diagnosed with NEC, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Yaeger Law to discuss the details of your potential Baby Formula lawsuit.