NEC Baby Formula: Information for Utah Residents
Necrotizing Enterocolitis from Formula in Utah
Baby formulas specifically formulated for premature infants have been found to put newborns in Utah at risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC, a severe infection of the gut. Among the leading causes of death for premature infants, NEC occurs when inflammation develops in the gut wall barriers, leading to injury that may require surgery to repair. Critics say the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac have known of the danger of NEC from baby formula for years, and had a responsibility to warn consumers in Utah of the risk. Attorneys handling NEC formula lawsuits believe Utah parents and families of babies who have suffered from baby formula NEC in Utah may be eligible for significant compensation. This page provides a comprehensive look at necrotizing enterocolitis from baby formula such as Similac and Enfamil.
Baby Formula for Premature Infants in Utah
Premature infants, or "premies" as they are commonly referred to, are babies who are born prior to 37 weeks gestation. Premies are often underweight and are characterized by underdeveloped cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and immune systems. Preterm infants born in Utah face a number of health risks as a result, one of which is necrotizing enterocolitis. An estimated 5-12% of preterm infants suffer from necrotizing enterocolitis, and 15-40% of the infants who develop this disease die from it. The use of cow milk-based baby formula increases the risk of NEC twofold, resulting in approximately double the number of NEC illnesses, surgeries and death in Utah babies who are fed formula instead of breast milk.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended preterm babies be fed with human breast milk as a result of the NEC baby formula risk. But manufacturers never added a NEC baby formula warning to product labels.
Baby Formula Increases Risk of NEC
Preterm infants may be fed baby formulas instead of breast milk for a variety of reasons: premies may have trouble nursing, the mother may be recovering from a traumatic birth and be unable to nurse, or the mother may choose not to nurse for another reason.
Baby formula NEC is a serious disease that often requires surgical intervention and can result in death. There are three main stages of NEC from baby formula: At first, the gut wall barrier becomes inflamed or injured. Next, the injury may advance to necrosis or tissue death. The final stage of NEC from baby formula is when the gut itself is perforated as a result of the injury. When a perforation or hole forms in the gut wall, bacteria can leak into the abdomen and bloodstream, resulting in life-threatening infection.
Symptoms of Baby Formula NEC include:
- Swollen, red, tender abdomen
- Trouble feeding
- Diarrhea and/or dark/bloody stools
- Low temperature
- Green vomit
- Slowed heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Infants who develop NEC from baby formula in Utah may undergo the following treatments: temporary cessation of feeding, the draining of air and fluid from the stomach and intestine, IV, antibiotic treatment, and frequent x-ray to monitor the status of the disease. If not resolved by these measures, Utah baby formula NEC requires surgery to remove dead intestinal tissue.
NEC from baby formula is a serious inflammatory disease of the gut. Approximately 20-40% of cases require surgical intervention in the form of intestinal resection, and 15-40% of cases of NEC are fatal. Specific preterm infant formulas include Similac Special Care, Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier, and Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Infant Formula.
Who can file a NEC Formula Lawsuit?
Families whose child developed NEC or necrotizing enterocolitis while using an infant baby formula may be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil. Click here to learn more.
Information for Utah Residents: Research on NEC and Baby Formula
To answer the need for infant nutrition for pre-term and underweight newborns, several infant nutrition companies have formulated specific products for feeding preterm babies. Similac Special Care, Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier, and Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Infant Formula are among some of the most prominent used in hospital settings. These cow milk-based baby formulas increase the risk of NEC, according to multiple studies. A Cochrane Review of previous research, conducted in 2018, showed that use of a cow milk-based formula nearly doubles the risk of NEC in premies.
As a result of previous similar findings, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2012 stating that preterm infants should be fed with human breast milk. Mother's Own Milk (MOM) is preferred, and human breast milk from a milk bank is the second best choice. Preterm baby formulas match the calories and nutrients of a mother's natural preterm breast milk, but they fail to provide other essential substances found in human breast milk which boost the function of the GI tract.
Families in Utah with infants harmed as a result of NEC from baby formula are filing claims against the makers of Enfamil and Similac.
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Baby Formula Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuits for Utah Residents
Filing a lawsuit will allow you to hold the pharmaceutical company accountable for damage it has caused you or a loved one, while also providing real compensation for your medical expenses, suffering and loss. Contact us today for a free consultation.