According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, around 10% of babies are born prematurely. As a result, the babies may have a low birth weight. To help them gain weight, the hospital may give them Enfamil formula.
If you have a premature infant who has received Enfamil formula and they developed a serious illness, you might want to speak with a New Port Richey Enfamil lawsuit lawyer with Dolman Law Group. They can help prove who is liable for the resulting injuries and seek compensation on your behalf.
Should You Give Formula to Your Premature Infant?
Your premature baby might not get enough essential nutrients from breast milk alone. In this common situation, doctors recommend supplementing natural milk with a formula. This formula will provide your child with the extra calcium, fats, and proteins they need. However, some formulas can cause problems, especially for premature infants.
What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
According to Cleveland Clinic, Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is rare among babies with low birth weight, affecting roughly 0.001% of premature infants. Unfortunately, the effects can be severe.
NEC occurs when tissue in the intestines suffers an injury or becomes inflamed. The tissue might die and perforate, allowing the intestinal wall to be punctured easily.
This damage to the intestine means that it can't hold waste products. Biological waste contains bacteria that may pass from the intestine into the bloodstream and cause a dangerous infection. Bacteria from the waste may also make your child ill if it enters the stomach.
Symptoms of NEC
Please note that the following is not a complete list. You should contact your pediatrician if you notice any change in your child's behavior or health.
- Low or fluctuating body temperature
- Your baby seems to retain food for longer than you would expect
- Trouble feeding; your baby refuses or is unwilling to eat
- Your baby's stomach is swollen, red, or tender
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Your baby's stool is dark or contains blood
- Your baby is less active than usual
- Low blood pressure
- A slow heartbeat
What Is the Treatment for NEC?
Because a premature baby is vulnerable, doctors will usually try basic medical treatment over surgery. The decision will depend on how severe your baby's condition is. Reassuringly, most babies with NEC don't need surgery and can make a full recovery. Medical treatment might include:
- Stopping normal feeding. Your baby will be hooked up to an intravenous catheter to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
- Draining air and fluid from the stomach
- Monitoring your baby's stool
- Frequent blood tests
- Providing oxygen if the swollen belly interferes with breathing
- In severe cases, transfusion of red blood cells and platelets
What Is the Connection between Formula and NEC?
A study published in The Lancet described a link between formula and the chances of getting NEC. The report stated that premature infants who consumed these formulas were 6 to 10 times more likely to develop NEC than infants who were breastfed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics backed up this early finding when, in 2012, it stated that premature babies should only have human-based milk. If your child needs extra nutritional elements, there are many supplements on the market that you can use.
If you can't or prefer not to breastfeed your infant, you can get in touch with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America to provide your child with human milk.
Why Bring a Lawsuit Against the Enfamil Manufacturers?
Two of the biggest manufacturers of infant formulas are Mead Johnson (Enfamil) and Abbot (Similac). In a highly competitive market, these companies spend a fortune on research, development, and marketing.
These Companies Have Failed to Warn Consumers of the Risks of Enfamil
It is not unreasonable to assume that these companies have read the reports that link their products to increased risk of NEC in premature infants. Yet there's no mention of this potential danger on the packaging.
Mead Johnson (and Abbot) have failed to warn parents and doctors about a potential risk. This is an abuse of their duty of care. All manufacturers have to advise consumers of risks; it is their legal and ethical responsibility.
Current lawsuits claim Mead Johnson has committed two actionable offenses:
- It knew the risk but failed in its duty to warn consumers.
- It has marketed its formula as being equivalent to breast milk. They know that it is not. Some babies react badly to cow's milk.
What Should You Do Next?
Taking care of a premature infant is a stressful time, even without the addition of severe medical conditions. Contact your pediatrician if you have the slightest suspicion that something is wrong with your baby. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If your baby has contracted a serious illness such as NEC through using a formula, you want to make sure that you hold the manufacturer responsible. We can help you do just that.
How Our Enfamil Lawsuit Lawyers Can Help
We cover the New Port Richey area and care deeply for the people of Florida. We work on a contingency basis, so we won't charge you anything until you receive a settlement. While working on this payment structure, you can expect our lawyers to:
- Gather evidence
- Take medical expert testimony
- Prove liability
- Communicate with others involved in your case
- Fight for fair compensation
- Represent you in legal proceedings
Types of compensation you can receive may include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Talk to Dolman Law Group About Filing a New Port Richey Enfamil Lawsuit Now
If your baby has suffered after taking Enfamil, talk to us at Dolman Law Group. You can call us for a free initial case review. This consultation is a chance to get to know each other. We will assess your case and tell you how we think you should proceed. Our conversation is informal and places you under no obligation. Whatever you decide, we will treat your case with complete confidence.
New Port Richey Office
5924 Main St
New Port Richey, FL 34652