Can You File a Lawsuit for Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Babies?

A person puts a scoop of baby formula into a baby bottle, not knowing that certain types of formula can lead to necrotizing enterocolitis.

Before a new baby comes, parents plan to do what is best to keep them happy and healthy, especially when it comes to nourishment. Breastmilk or baby formula provides key nutrients to aid in a baby’s early development. However, many parents do not realize that some baby formulas may increase their child’s chance of contracting a serious illness like necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Necrotizing enterocolitis causes severe gastrointestinal inflammation leading to holes in the colon and the death of other intestinal tissues in premature babies. While this condition may be mild in many infants, others suffer life-threatening symptoms if left untreated and may lead to filing a baby formula lawsuit.

How Does Necrotizing Enterocolitis Occur in Babies?   

Necrotizing enterocolitis affects 1 in 1,000 premature babies since their immune systems are weaker than full term babies. While there is not a specific cause for this condition, recent research has linked it to cow’s milk-based baby formulas made specifically for premature babies.

According to a recent study, premature infants who consumed a cow’s milk-based formula were twice as likely to develop the condition compared to babies who consumed breast milk. Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) routinely administer formula to premature babies since many have difficulty latching for breastfeeding or the mother is unable to produce enough milk to sustain their child. While this is a routine process for medical providers, they still have a duty to monitor and act quickly to treat NEC when symptoms arise.

What are the Symptoms of NEC?

With many baby formula manufacturers and healthcare providers facing lawsuits this year, it is more important than ever to be aware of the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis. The common signs and symptoms parents and providers should watch for are:

  • Bloating or swelling in the belly;
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool;
  • Decreased activity and movement;
  • Green-colored fluid in the stomach;
  • Not being able to digest food; or
  • Having an unstable temperature or heart rate.

If these symptoms are present, healthcare providers should examine your child immediately and order tests to examine for signs of infection or damage to the intestine.

Developing a Necrotizing Enterocolitis Baby Formula Lawsuit 

There are three key factors that need to be present in order to develop a necrotizing enterocolitis baby formula lawsuit. If your child was premature at birth, received cow’s milk-based formula or milk fortifier at the hospital, received a diagnosis of NEC or was not properly treated for NEC, you may have a viable baby formula lawsuit and should seek legal counsel from an attorney.

Your attorney will help you compile important medical records, determine damages and understand whether the baby formula manufacturer or your child’s medical team is at fault for your child’s condition.

Your Trusted Team in Baby Formula Lawsuits 

As parents ourselves, we understand bringing a baby into the world should be a joyful time. But, when disaster strikes in the form of necrotizing enterocolitis, our team of birth injury attorneys work with you to help you understand your family’s rights and develop a plan of action. If you believe your child suffered from NEC, contact the attorneys at Zevan Davidson Roman for a free consultation.

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