What is NEC?
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a digestive disease that occurs primarily in premature infants and can cause inflammation of the intestinal lining, which can eventually lead to serious infections. In such cases, the inflamed intestinal wall is eventually eroded away, which allows bacteria to enter the intestinal tract and jeopardize the health of the infant.
This condition’s predisposing factors are prematurity, formula feeding and sepsis and it often requires surgery. The wall of the intestine is invaded by bacteria, which cause local infection and inflammation that can ultimately destroy the wall of the bowel.
The surgery and infection that develops as a result of NEC can lead to further gastrointestinal diagnosis or injury, including but not limited to, Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). SBS occurs when parts of the intestine are removed surgically and the remaining intestine may not be able to absorb enough nutrients from food and drink. This results in malabsorption, and puts the infant at further risk.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease that affects mostly the intestines of premature infants. Overall, NEC affects one in 2,000 to 4,000 births, or between one percent and five percent of neonatal intensive care unit admissions. The disease occurs in nearly 10 percent of premature infants but is rare in full term infants. Although the exact cause of NEC is still unknown, there are many theories to explain why NEC mainly affects premature infants. The only consistent observations made in infants who develop NEC are the presence of prematurity and formula feeding.
The premature infant has immature lungs and immature intestines. Due to the decreased functionality of these organs, damage is done to the bowel wall, which causes local infection and inflammation. As a result, the premature infants cannot physically tolerate formula feeding.
- Intestinal perforation (a hole in the intestines)
- Scarring or strictures (narrow areas) in the intestines
- Sepsis (severe infection affecting the entire body)
- Cerebral palsy
- Changes in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure or body temperature
- Diarrhea with bloody stool
- Green or yellow vomit
- Refusing to eat
- Lack of weight gain
- Best Organic Baby Formula
- Similac Pro-Advance Baby Formula
- Up&Up Infant Formula
- HappyBaby Organic
Infant Formula (NEC) Lawsuit
To date, multiple lawsuits have been filed by parents after their children developed necrotizing enterocolitis by ingesting either Similac or Enfamilbaby formula. According to the lawsuits, the manufacturers of these products failed to warn parents of the associated health risks of the formula, which has caused unsuspecting parents to give it to their prematurely born children.
Enfamil and Similac have no warnings about NEC as a baby formula side effect or proper instructions or guidelines for their use, according to parents who sued. The companies also marketed their products as safe and beneficial for premature infants in spite of the potential risks.
Parents are suing for extensive financial losses and emotional distress related to their baby’s injuries or death.
33 NEC baby formula lawsuits have been filed in Illinois state courts. Why has Illinois become a hot spot for the emerging NEC formula litigation? The manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac are both headquartered in the Chicago area. So there is no federal court jurisdiction when Mead Johnson or Abbott are sued in Illinois.
JANUARY 3, 2022
Abbott and Mead Johnson were granted extensions of time to respond to this request. Both companies will probably be in favor of consolidation since defending a single action will be more efficient than defending 30 separate cases at once.