Is Enfamil Powder Safe For Newborns?
While Enfamil powder is usually safe for newborns, a growing body of scientific evidence has linked it to increasing the risk of a life-threatening bowel infection called Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) when given to infants.
This condition may create significant complications and consequences for the entirety of the child's life. If you believe Enfamil formula may have caused your child's NEC condition, you have the right to sue the manufacturers or the health providers who recommended the product.
What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
NEC is a condition characterized by inflammation of the intestines. It causes the weakening and deterioration of intestinal tissue. As the tissues weaken, the intestines progressively die and the condition can spread throughout the infant's gastrointestinal system.
According to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)
, 1-5% of infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) develop NEC. The condition may be severe, occasionally causing death, and those that survive end up dealing with lifelong infections and poor health. The condition causes perforations in the intestines putting the infant at significant risk of bacterial infections and sepsis. Early diagnosis can assist in the treatment of the condition by using antibiotics.
Challenges Associated with NEC
Infection is one of the severe concerns with NEC, especially in the infant's gastrointestinal system. Infections can cause:
- Delays in development - Since NEC attacks the intestines, the baby's feeding routine is affected, causing significant developmental delays. The severity of the condition correlates to the severity of developmental delays.
- Poor general health - NEC causes lifelong health challenges, including liver disease and short bowel syndrome.
Does Enfamil Cause NEC?
Since infants in the NICU require extra care, including situations where the mother cannot provide milk for the baby, NICU healthcare workers feed the infants baby formula. Compared to purchasing breast milk, Enfamil formula has been a cost-effective product for most healthcare providers.
Studies have confirmed that infants are at a higher risk of developing NEC from cow-based formula than breast milk. However, despite Enfamil being aware of the risks, the company has continued to manufacture, promote and distribute these products to health facilities.
Can Parents Sue Enfamil?
Despite the severe consequences of consuming Enfamil, certain conditions must be met for a parent to be able to sue Enfamil. If your baby receives Enfamil while in the NICU and develops NEC, it's within your right to sue the company and seek compensation for your child's damages and subsequent suffering.
If your child suffered NEC in the NICU, it's within the law to sue the company since such a case is relevant and protected by product liability law. Product liability laws state that when a company consciously with full knowledge and understanding, puts the public at risk, they are fully liable for the damages and losses inflicted.
The Enfamil Company knows that its products can be harmful to newborns and infants. Yet, they still continue manufacturing and selling the products for babies. Additionally, the product provides no warning of possible side effects after consumption. People deserve to be warned of any possible side effects from products that they use.
Other Parties Liable in NEC Injuries Lawsuit
- Healthcare providers - A healthcare worker who feeds the baby Enfamil formula in the NICU is liable for the baby's development of NEC. Doctors and physicians can also be liable for failing to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as possible. It is important to note that NEC may develop from other complications without consuming Enfamil formula in the NICU.
- Healthcare facilities – If the facility decides to purchase the Enfamil product with full knowledge of its side effects. The decision to permit such an act proves that the facility is the driving force behind using these products in the NICU, making them liable.
Compensation From Enfamil
In determining compensation, thorough evaluations are conducted on the child to determine the severity of damage due to the product. These evaluations can help determine what compensation will adequately cover any current or future damages. The family may also receive evaluation on the effects on the child's condition.
The damages analyzed in such a lawsuit include:
- Extra care as needed for the baby and the additional resulting cost to the parent
- Cost of medical care presently and in the future
- Loss of potential quality of life and income if the child develops a permanent disability
- Pain, suffering, and stigma due to the condition
Get Legal Help
Our team of lawyers at the Dolman Law Group
are here to answer your questions and guide you through your case. To learn the best legal options available and to seek maximum compensation, contact us today for a free consultation to review your case.