Parents allege that companies didn’t warn consumers that their baby formulas could increase the risk of NEC.

Premature babies are at higher risk for several health conditions because of their underdeveloped immune systems. One of these diseases is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a rare intestinal condition that inflames the tissue in the large intestine. Infants hospitalized in neonatal intensive care units are often given cow’s milk-based baby formula manufactured by companies like Enfamil and Similac. Parents often don’t realize that cow’s milk formula can increase the chances of a baby developing NEC. One study found that babies fed formula are up to 10 times more likely to get sick with NEC. It’s unclear why the disease is more common in formula-fed newborns, but breast milk contains proteins that help babies fight infection. In comparison, researchers have found that formulas can contain unbounded fatty free acids that are toxic to intestinal cells. 

NEC can cause devastating long-term complications. Some babies recover after being treated with antibiotics, but others will need surgery to remove parts of the intestine. Not all children are lucky enough to recover. The disease has a mortality rate of up to 50%. While NEC isn’t entirely preventable, feeding premature babies breast milk decreases the risk. Baby formula manufacturers advertise their products as equivalent to human milk, and parents are unaware that formula can increase the chance of their baby developing necrotizing enterocolitis. Families are filing NEC baby formula lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson, who each manufacture the world’s most popular infant formulas. The lawsuits have been consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL), and a court recently selected several bellwether cases for trial.

If your child was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming baby formula, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, ongoing medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free case evaluation, contact the Saddle Rock Legal Group today.

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