When new mothers can’t breastfeed, they often turn to infant formula to ensure their babies are fed. If you’re using formula with cow’s milk, your child could be at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease that primarily occurs in premature infants.
Why isn’t this risk noted on baby formula—and what can you do about it?
What is necrotizing enterocolitis?
NEC is the most common gastrointestinal emergency occurring in neonatal units. It affects one in every 2,000 to 4,000 births. The diseases causes infection and inflammation of the intestines, which can be fatal to some premature babies.
According to the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, NEC “often develops within the first two weeks of life, usually after milk feeding has begun (at first, feedings are usually given through a tube that goes directly to the baby’s stomach).”
NEC can also affect older infants, especially those who had difficult deliveries with lowered oxygen levels. Symptoms include abdominal distention (swelling), bile-colored (green) vomiting or gastric drainage, poor feeding, signs of infection (lethargy and apnea), temperature instability and bloody stools.
Luckily, most babies with NEC don’t need surgery to help them recover—but in some tragic cases, the child may become severely ill or die.
Who’s liable for NEC?
Since cow’s milk formula is a risk factor for developing life-threatening NEC, you’d think that formula companies would put a warning on the label. Unfortunately, manufacturers of most cow’s milk formula have failed to inform parents of the risks. Popular brands like Gerber, Enfamil, Earth’s Best and Similac all offer cow’s milk-based formula varieties.
If you suspect that your child developed NEC as a result of drinking infant formula, call a personal injury lawyer. If there’s adequate evidence to support your claim, you may be eligible to file a claim.
NEC infant formula claims can be litigated in two broad categories. First, your attorney may recommend a products liability lawsuit, which claims the manufacturers were negligent in either creating an inherently unsafe product or failing to adequately warn of the risks involved.
Second, your lawyer may suggest approaching it from a medical malpractice angle. You could file a claim against the doctor(s) and/or hospital, for giving your premature child cow’s milk formula instead of donor milk or another, safer formula variety.
Whichever type of claim you file, it’s important to hold the parties responsible. Losing a child or coping with a serious illness is devastating, and you deserve compensation.
Talk to an Ohio medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer today
Your child shouldn’t suffer as a result of negligent companies or healthcare providers. If a manufacturer, doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider is responsible for your child’s NEC, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.483.2298 to discuss your case.