Study Analyzes NEC and Death in Preterm Infants

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

A study published by JAMA Pediatrics and led by researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle and Wake Forest School of Medicine indicate that Necrotizing Enterocolitis, or NEC, is among the top causes of premature infant death. The study, which analyzed data from nearly 1,000 infants cared for at 30 NICUs across the U.S., found that gestational age is key to surviving NEC. The researchers concluded that “…for each week that an infant survived, their risk of subsequent death approximated the risk observed in infants born 1 to 2 weeks later…”. This information may help better inform families about prognosis of their child’s survival.

NEC is a potentially devastating condition that premature newborns may face. It is a gastrointestinal disorder that occurs when intestinal tissue grows thin and dies. The tissue death creates holes in the intestinal walls. Bacteria can enter into the infant’s abdomen or blood stream through those holes, leading to infection or other serious health risks. The condition usually develops between two and six weeks after birth. NEC is sometimes mild, and resolves on its own, but for some, it can be fatal.

So how does this happen? What causes NEC? Research suggests a link between NEC and cow’s milk-based baby formulas, such as Enfamil and Similac. According to the NIH, the cause may be related to the underdevelopment of a preterm infant’s digestive system.

Baby Formula NEC Lawsuits

Parents and caregivers have filed lawsuits across the nation against Mead Johnson & Company, maker of Enfamil brand baby formulas, and Abbott Laboratories, maker of Similac formulas. Plaintiffs allege that Mead Johnson and Abbott were aware of medical research indicating a link between the formulas and NEC in preterm infants but did not issue any warnings to consumers or medical providers about the risks. Many plaintiffs contend that they were unaware of this link between the formula their baby was receiving and the risk of NEC.

Am I Eligible to File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?

If your preterm baby was given Enfamil or Similac formula while in the NICU and was diagnosed with NEC that required surgery, caused ongoing problems, or resulted in death, please call our law firm today. You may be eligible to file an Enfamil lawsuit or a Similac lawsuit. Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. attorneys can evaluate your potential claim with you during a free consultation.

Our lawyers 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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