Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a rare medical condition. Yet, it is the most common life-threatening surgical emergency in newborn babies. In fact, 70% of babies who develop necrotizing enterocolitis were born early, and NEC is the reason for 8% of all neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions. Read below to find out more about necrotizing enterocolitis and when it may be time to file NEC claims in Kentucky.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
NEC occurs when a baby's intestinal tissue becomes inflamed or damaged. It typically occurs about two to six weeks after birth.
A newborn's intestinal tissue may die, and a hole may develop in the intestinal wall allowing dangerous bacteria into the baby's bloodstream. The bacteria may cause a life-threatening infection.
According to our Kentucky necrotizing enterocolitis laweyrs, symptoms of NEC include:
- Difficulty feeding
- A change in bowel movements, such as constipation, diarrhea, or dark or bloody stools
- Green vomit
- Changes on your baby's monitors, such as a slowed heart rate or low blood pressure
- A swollen, red, or tender abdomen
You are watching your newborn more closely than anyone else. If you notice any symptoms, you should immediately share your concerns with the NICU staff.
Cow's Milk-Based Formula May Cause Necrotizing Enterocolitis in NICU Newborns
For many babies, prematurity is not the cause of necrotizing enterocolitis. Instead, NEC may be caused when premature babies are fed cow's milk-based formula instead of breast milk while in the NICU. Cow's milk-based formula lacks human breast milk's probiotics and is difficult for newborn babies to digest.
The link between cow-based baby formula and necrotizing enterocolitis should not be news to formula manufacturers and hospital staff. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement about breastfeeding. In that policy statement, the AAP found that feeding preterm babies human milk significantly reduces the incidence of NEC. Other studies have come to the same conclusion.
If your baby was fed a cow's milk-based formula, such as Enfamil or Similac, in the NICU and developed NEC, you need to know what may happen next and you also may need to contact experienced Kentucky necrotizing enterocolitis lawyers in the period shortly after.
What Happens to Babies With NEC?
More than 16% of babies with NEC die from the condition. Children who survive are often left with long-term or permanent medical issues, including:
- Brain injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Failure to thrive
- Intestinal perforation
- Intestinal stricture
- Liver problems
- Short bowel syndrome
Your child may need medical care for the rest of their life.
When a Parent May File NEC Claims in Kentucky
As a parent, you want to protect your child. Children under the age of 18 cannot file lawsuits, but their parents can pursue legal action on their behalf. You may pursue a lawsuit, with one of our Kentucky necrotizing enterocolitis lawyers, on your child's behalf if:
- Your child was born before 37 weeks gestation or weighed less than 5.5 pounds at birth
- Your child was fed cow's milk-based formula, such as Enfamil or Similac, in the NICU after 2012
- Your child developed NEC within two weeks of being fed a cow's milk-based formula
- Your child developed NEC and died or developed health complications because of it
A successful lawsuit may allow your family to recover compensation for:
- Your child's past and future medical costs
- Your child's physical pain and emotional suffering
- Your lost income, if you were unable to work because of your child's NEC
- Any out-of-pocket expenses your family incurred because of your child's medical condition
- Your child's future lost income
If your child died, you may also recover for your emotional trauma and lost parent-child relationship.
Formula manufacturers, including Abbott Laboratories, Inc., which makes Similac, and Mead Johnson Nutrition Company which makes Enfamil, knew or should have known about the risks their cow's milk-based formulas posed to newborn babies. Yet, they failed to warn parents and hospital staff of the NEC risk.
Now your child is paying the price.
Our Kentucky Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawyers Are Here to Help With Your NEC Claims
Our Kentucky necrotizing enterocolitis lawyers intentionally represent a low volume of clients so that we can treat each client like family. Our dedicated attorneys and staff nurse want to help your family get the compensation you deserve for the harm your child should never have suffered. Please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights, potential recovery, and our No-Fee Policy regarding your NEC claims.