Legal Guidance for Families Affected by Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

Child Suffering From Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

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Infant Formula Linked to Dangerous Condition Affecting Premature Babies

When a baby is born prematurely, nursing may not be possible and the baby may need extra nutrition to help him or she grow and develop. These factors cause many parents and healthcare providers to turn to formula feeding to supplement nutrition.

Unfortunately, feeding formula is not always safe for premature babies (also called preemies). Cow’s milk-based formula has been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening illness primarily affecting premature infants. Infant formula lawsuits claim that cow’s milk-based formulas increase the risk of NEC. This is alarming given that major manufacturers like Enfamil and Similac create formulas specifically for premature babies – but these formulas may do more harm than good.

Even so, formula labels do not have any warnings or guidelines identifying the risk of NEC or advising healthcare providers and parents against using it.

Helping Families Affected by NEC Obtain Justice and Compensation

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), is a serious medical condition that requires immediate diagnosis and treatment. There are several ways that your child’s illness could be the result of negligence:

  • The doctor failed to recognize the symptoms and diagnose the illness.
  • Your child’s illness was misdiagnosed.
  • The doctor did not deliver treatment on time.
  • The doctor did not deliver treatment aligned with medical standards.

In such cases, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent healthcare provider(s) or facility. The lawyers at can help you determine if you have a claim, and will guide you through the lawsuit process. Our team is currently investigating cases involving:

  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care

If your child has suffered injury or has died after being fed cow’s milk-based formula, contact our lawyers today! Compensation may be available to you for the cost of your medical expenses and other damages related to the harm your child and family have suffered.

Claims are already being filed nationwide on behalf of families affected by NEC.

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

This is a gastrointestinal disease that causes infections and primarily affects premature infants.

This disease causes infection, inflammation, and destruction of intestinal tissue. NEC often causes the tissue in the wall of the intestine to die (necrosis).

NEC is most common in premature infants. It affects 5-10% of premature infants, with the risk of NEC increasing the earlier the infant is and the lower the birth weight is.

This disease generally occurs during the first two weeks of life, after formula feeding has begun. Many experts believe that cow’s milk-based formulas are the cause of NEC. Many infants are fed formula in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

risk factors for NEC

Causes of Necrotizing Enterocolitis

The exact cause of NEC is not well understood, but experts believe that the disease can develop as a result of:

  • Oxygen deprivation during delivery.
  • Using Cow’s milk-based baby formula.
  • Excess levels of red blood cells.
  • Additional gastrointestinal conditions.

Other risk factors for NEC include premature birth and low birth weight.

signs of necrotizing enterocolitis

Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis

NEC generally develops within the first few weeks of life. It is important that parents recognize the symptoms, and talk to their doctor immediately if they think their infant may have NEC. The most common symptoms specific to NEC include:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Blood in the stool
  4. Abdominal bloating
  5. Unstable body temperature

Infants may also experience general symptoms of infection, such as lethargy, fever, or disrupted breathing. Disrupted or difficult breathing is most common in infants who have abdominal swelling.

Diagnosing and Treating Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are the most important factors for preventing permanent damage and saving the infant’s life. To diagnose NEC, doctors may do one or more of the following:

  • Gently feel the infant’s stomach to check for swelling, tenderness, or pain
  • Have an abdominal x-ray performed to assess intestinal damage
  • Test stool samples to check for bleeding
  • Collect blood samples to assess platelet and white blood count levels
  • Insert a needle into the abdominal cavity to see if there is intestinal fluid leaking into the abdomen

Once doctors confirm their diagnosis and assess the severity of the disease, they will make a determination about the best options for treatment. Treating NEC may involve:

  • Discontinuing oral feedings and providing nutrients through an IV.
  • Antibiotic treatment.
  • Oxygen support if there is difficulty breathing.
  • Surgery to remove damaged or dead tissue and repair the bowels.

Prognosis for Infants with NEC

With prompt diagnosis and treatment, infants with NEC often heal well and without complications. If diagnosis or treatment is delayed, the infant can suffer long-term consequences and is also at risk for death.

Call us Now at (877) 887-4850 for FREE to See if You or Your Loved One Qualify

If your child has been diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) or has suffered permanent complications or death due to NEC, it is important to understand why this disease occurred in the first place. Sadly, some cases of NEC are the result of negligence.

Many parents are not warned by their doctors or by the product manufacturers about the risks of feeding their newborns cow’s milk-based formulas.

Furthermore, if your child’s doctor did not diagnose or treat your child’s NEC promptly, misdiagnosed your infant, or did not adhere to medical standards, your baby may be the victim of medical malpractice.

In either of these cases, it is important to discuss your family’s situation with a medical malpractice lawyer. There is a deadline (statute of limitations) for filing a claim, so the sooner you talk to someone, the higher your chances of getting a favorable outcome.

At, we offer FREE case evaluations to every potential client. There is no risk in finding out more about the cause of your child’s illness, and if you have grounds to take legal action.

To start now, call us at (877) 887-4850, or complete our online form. You may be eligible to file a medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit.


Discuss your claim today with a free consultation