If you’re a parent, you may be wondering if baby formula is harmful. It’s a valid question, especially since NEC—necrotizing enterocolitis, a digestive disease primarily found in premature babies—has been connected to so many cases of baby formula toxicity.
This article will explain what NEC is and how it is connected to baby formula. We’ll also cover some of the dangers of using baby formula and when you should consider reaching out to an attorney. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact legal professionals at Napoli Shkolnik for more information.
Is Baby Formula Harmful?
The simple answer is yes, baby formula can be harmful. There are a variety of risks and side effects associated with baby formula that have been discovered in recent years. For example, numerous lawsuits have been filed after baby formula from Enfamil and Similac has been linked to NEC in preemies.
What is NEC?
Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a potentially fatal condition that can occur when the intestines are deprived of oxygen. This can happen when there is an obstruction in the intestines, or when the blood supply to the intestines is cut off.
NEC is most commonly seen in premature babies, but it can also affect full-term infants. NICU babies are at especially high risk because they are most often formula fed, as breastfeeding can be difficult when the baby must remain hooked up to medical devices.
In some cases, NEC can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening infection of the blood.
How is NEC Connected to Baby Formula?
The exact cause of NEC isn’t well known, but the connection between NEC and baby formula comes down to the fact that premature infants who aren’t fed breast milk are more likely to develop NEC, especially those using Enfamil or Similac baby formulas. Premature babies have underdeveloped gastrointestinal tracts, so they are particularly susceptible to digestive diseases, including NEC.
The first sign of NEC is when bacteria enter the walls of a newborn’s intestines, which causes them to become inflamed and perforated. This then allows other substances to leak into the abdomen or bloodstream. A diagnosis of NEC can be frightening and stressful for parents.
NEC is extremely uncommon in breast-fed infants. The digestive system of a breast-fed baby is rarely affected by severe conditions like NEC. Breast milk contains chemicals that help to strengthen and heal the digestive tract, reducing the risk of bacterial infections.
Baby Formula Manufacturers’ Failure to Warn
Infant formula manufacturers are now facing dozens of baby formula NEC lawsuits, with plaintiffs alleging that the manufacturers failed to provide adequate warnings about the risk of NEC.
The premature and low birth weight babies who were not fed human milk might have avoided NEC if the producers had been more forthcoming, because they could have been given human milk, which may have saved them from developing the condition.
When Should You Reach Out to a Product Liability Attorney?
If your child has been diagnosed with NEC, or any other condition, and you believe that baby formula may be to blame, you should reach out to an attorney. An experienced product liability attorney will be able to review your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
At Napoli Shkolnik, our team of experienced attorneys has been handling cases involving defective products for many years. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve for harm caused by products. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.