The Link Between the Increased Risk of NEC and Baby Formula

yellow bottle of formula and a formula measuring scoop on a grey surface

Did your preterm baby contract the deadly bacterial disease known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)? Studies continue to show a potential link between popular infant formulas and NEC when given to preterm babies.

One study recently published in Pediatrics and Child Health compared health records of preterm babies who received human milk versus infant formula. The formula-fed babies were found to be at increased risk for NEC. The researchers noted that this conclusion supports other recent data indicating that infants who are formula-fed are more likely to be treated for suspected NEC.

What is NEC?

NEC is a potentially deadly bacterial disease that inflames and damages the intestinal walls. This creates cracks that allow these germs to leak into the abdomen, resulting in serious infection and even death – especially in preterm babies.

Although rare, studies have shown that NEC is significantly more common in preterm babies fed cow’s milk-based infant formula – such as Similac or Enfamil. As early as 1990, researchers found that babies exclusively fed formula were 6-10 times more likely to contract NEC.

Why Might Formula Increase NEC Risk?

Why are preterm babies at risk? Scientists and medical professionals believe that the intestines of premature babies simply are not as developed as full-term babies. This means they lack protection against infection and inflammation. In addition, cow’s milk may encourage the growth of damaging bacteria. Human milk, on the other hand, may add protection against damaging bacteria.

Mead Johnson and Abbott Labs Face Lawsuits Due to NEC

Mead Johnson & Company and Abbott Laboratories, makers of popular infant formulas Enfamil and Similac, face dozens of lawsuits related to NEC. Many parents whose premature babies contracted NEC while in the NICU have filed lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that the formula companies failed to provide adequate warnings of the risks associated with their product and NEC. As a result, their babies contracted this illness and suffered serious injury or even death. Many children now live with permanent damage to their intestines, resulting in colostomies, feeding tubes, and scar tissue.

Questions About NEC and Baby Formula Lawsuits? Contact Us Today.

If your baby contracted NEC after ingesting Enfamil or Similac formula while in the NICU, please call our law firm immediately. Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. attorneys are currently representing families of babies who developed NEC that resulted in surgery, ongoing health problems, and even death. Baby formula lawsuits are pending across the country against Enfamil and Similac manufacturers, and we want to help you determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit too. We offer free, confidential consultations, and take cases nationwide. Call us at (888) 984-7988 or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney about your potential case.

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