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NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

Baby Formula Linked to Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Infants

Baby Formula Lawsuit Lawyers

Fighting for Justice from Abbott Laboratories

Since the 1990s, published studies have suggested the connection between premature babies being exclusively fed cow’s milk-based baby formula and an increased risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Most commonly found in premature infants that have been fed baby formula, Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a serious intestinal disease that can prove fatal due to tissue death and bacterial infections. As many as 50% of babies diagnosed with NEC do not survive, while those who do live may suffer from long-term health problems.

Because formula feeding is one of the main factors in babies with NEC, many of these deaths and illnesses can – and should – be prevented. Approximately 1 in 10,000 full-term babies and 1 in 1,000 premature babies suffer from NEC. Sadly, this disease is currently the most common gastrointestinal emergency affecting preemies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

There are four main types of NEC, each classified by the cause and symptoms:

  • Atypical NEC. The rarest cases involve newborns getting NEC in their first week of life.
  • Classic NEC. The most common, these cases can surface as early as 3 weeks after birth and affect babies born before 28 weeks.
  • Term Infant NEC. Babies born with birth defects at full-term can get NEC.
  • Transfusion-Associated NEC. 33% of babies can get NEC within three days of receiving a blood transfusion to treat anemia.

What Are the Symptoms of NEC?

Babies who contract NEC have an increased risk of death, especially premature infants. The best way to keep them safe from the most serious complications of the disease is by achieving a diagnosis as early as possible.

Many of the common symptoms of NEC in babies include:

  • Unable to feed
  • Refusing to feed
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in breathing
  • Blood pressure or heart rate changes
  • Lethargy

Similac & Enfamil Baby Formula Lawsuits

Families whose premature infants were diagnosed with NEC after being fed products from the Similac or Enfamil lines of formula may be qualified to file baby formula lawsuits to seek compensation for their child's injuries or death. Manufacturers Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories have failed to warn medical providers and caregivers about the risk of NEC caused by their products.

The baby formula brands included in lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson include:

  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30

Abbott Laboratories Baby Formula Recall

In February 2022, an extensive recall of Abbott Laboratories baby formula was initiated. However, this was not in response to the increased risk of NEC; instead, it was due to a potential contamination of Cronobacter sakazakii at their facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Several products in their Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare lines were included in the recall. While the facility and products are still under FDA investigation, the agency warns families to avoid using recalled formulas due to an increased risk of Cronobacter sakazakii infection. Caregivers can check if their baby formula package has been recalled by entering the code on the bottom of the bottle on Abbott’s website.

What Is Cronobacter Sakazakii?

A naturally occurring germ, Cronobacter sakazakii can cause dangerous blood infections, known as sepsis, or swell the linings surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). These germs can live in dry foods, including powdered infant formula.

Cronobacter sakazakii infections can be serious for:

  • Infants younger than 2 months of age
  • Infants born prematurely
  • Infants with weakened immune systems due to illness or medical treatment

Fighting for Healthy Babies

The connection between baby formula and NEC has been studied since 1990, and yet manufacturers are still not taking the threat against babies seriously. Even the February 2022 recall of Abbott Laboratories products is not related to the risks of NEC. At Arnold & Itkin, we are unwilling to let more families suffer from these companies’ negligence. If your child has been diagnosed with Cronobacter sakazakii infection, Necrotizing Entercolitis (NEC), or otherwise injured after consuming baby formula, we're ready to offer our insight and guidance.

Contact our baby formula lawsuit attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation. We're here to help.

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