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What necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is and the complications that it may cause
National studies demonstrated how the potential for developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants (before 37 weeks) increases with cow’s milk-based infant formula, while decreasing with breast milk.
A US District Court heard and decided on a complaint in 2011 of serious allegations that Abbott Laboratories® and Mead Johnson & Company, LLC® were directly responsible for a premature infant (before 37 weeks) dying from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).
The baby passed after just 16 days in intensive care because the manufacturer opted not to warn parents of the potential for a Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) diagnosis.
Premature babies (born BEFORE 37 weeks) with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) may exhibit the following symptoms or complications:
- Abnormal constipation
- Diarrhea and/or dark, bloody stools
- A low body temperature
- Food staying in the stomach and not digesting
- Trouble feeding
- A swollen, red, or tender stomach
- Green vomit that contains excess bile
Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is diagnosed through an x-ray of the abdomen and confirmed by the appearance of bubbly or streaky gas in the intestines.
Severe forms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) lead to surgery in ~20-40% of all cases.(Source: US National Library of Medicine).
Reports and studies of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) cases are on the rise
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a gastrointestinal disease that affects premature infants (born BEFORE 37 weeks) who are fed cow’s milk–based formulas such as Similac® or Enfamil®.
NEC involves infection and inflammation that causes damage and the death of cells in some or all of the intestine leading to surgeries to repair intestinal perforations, short bowel syndrome (SBS), brain damage, and more.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, necrotizing enterocolitis affects one in 2,000 to 4,000 births, and is the most common gastrointestinal (GI) emergency in U.S. neonatal intensive care units.
- The percentage of very low birth weight infants who develop NEC remains steady at about 7%.
- NEC continues to be one of the leading causes of illness and death among preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) infants.
- Estimates reveal that NEC affects about 9,000 out of the 480,000 infants born preterm each year nationwide.
- All newborn infants born preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or born with a low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) are at increased risk for NEC–plus, the more premature the delivery, the greater the risk
- 15-40% of preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) infants with NEC die from the disease.
Many of these premier formula manufacturers chose to ignore notifying parents of the risks, resulting in the development of thousands of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) cases nationwide.
We believe that victims of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and their families should be able to address medical facilities and personnel that were allegedly the source of this condition and get compensation.
Our network of attorneys have a track record of success.
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