According to Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, baby formula, including Enfamil, has various potential side effects, such as:
- Ear infections: Otitis media, a common middle ear infection in infants, can cause sleep difficulties, irritability, fever, or fluid draining from the ears, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. If your child is pulling on one or both of their ears while crying, this may be a sign of ear infection.
- Lower respiratory tract infections: According to the American Lung Association, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) can cause symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, coughing, fever, sore throat, irritability, fatigue, trouble breathing, or wheezing. Severe infections can also lead to pneumonia or bronchitis.
- Gastrointestinal infections: Gastroenteritis or other infections can have symptoms such as constipation, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, fever, etc.
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
Babies may also experience allergic reactions to ingredients in formula, such as lactose and soy protein. Most side effects are mild and short-term, but other side effects can be severe and even life-threatening.
The Potential Dangers of Enfamil Baby Formula
Enfamil is a baby formula that mothers use for newborns when they cannot or prefer not to breastfeed. Mead Johnson has produced this formula since October 1959. This company sells several different types of Enfamil.
Some parents have filed lawsuits against Mead Johnson for failing to give adequate warnings about the potential risks of Enfamil. They allege that Enfamil can cause several side effects, ranging from mild to severe, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
NEC is a life-threatening condition, especially for premature babies. Children who weigh less than two pounds at birth are at the highest risk of NEC.
According to Cleveland Clinic, NEC is a life-threatening condition that causes harm to the intestines and deteriorates the intestinal walls. This can lead to a perforation in the intestines, causing bacteria to leak into a child's abdomen or bloodstream.
Symptoms of NEC may include:
- Swollen or distended belly
- Changes in body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, or breathing rate
- Bloody or watery diarrhea
- Vomit with a yellow or green color
- Excessive tiredness and lack of energy
- Not gaining weight
- Refusing to eat
In severe cases, NEC can lead to complications such as:
- Abdominal infections, which can result in sepsis
- Short bowel syndrome, which can lead to malnutrition and require the child to use a feeding tube
- Intestinal stricture, which makes it difficult for the baby to eat normally and may require surgery
- Delays in physical development due to lack of proper nourishment
- Death, in about 20% of cases
NEC can be mild for some infants, but severe for others. It usually occurs within the first two to six weeks after birth. The condition is diagnosed via blood or fecal tests or abdominal x-rays. When a child has NEC, they might need drastic medical intervention to stop and repair the damage. Treatments may include:
- IV feedings
- Inserting a catheter to drain fluids from the abdomen
- Surgery to repair holes or remove dead intestinal tissue
What Can You Do to Prevent NEC?
If you are at risk of premature birth, you may consider getting corticosteroid injections while pregnant to lower your baby's risks of gastrointestinal problems, including NEC.
After birth, breastfeeding is one of the best ways to prevent NEC. However, the mother may not be able to breastfeed her child for various reasons. Perhaps the child is too young or weak to suckle, or the mother has health issues that prevent nursing. In these cases, NEC is unfortunately common.
What to Do If Your Child Has Developed NEC from Enfamil
If your newborn developed NEC after drinking Enfamil, you might be able to receive compensation. You could seek damages from either the product manufacturer or healthcare professionals if they fed formula to your baby in the NICU.
If a negligent party caused harm to your child, you may want to contact an attorney. In a personal injury claim or mass tort lawsuit, you can seek compensation for damages such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages due to time away from work while caring for your child
- Pain and suffering
Dolman Law Group Can Help Your Family
At Dolman Law Group, based in Florida, we care about you and your infant and would love to help you seek compensation for any damages your family has experienced from Enfamil's side effects.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don't have to pay us anything to represent you. We will only take a percentage of the settlement or court award you receive. If we don't win compensation for you, you pay us nothing.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.