Link Between Baby Formula and NEC For Premature Babies Withheld by Makers of Similac, Enfamil: Lawsuits

Lawsuits claim Enfamil and Similac promoted their for preterm birth infants for years, despite science linking the severe intestinal disorder NEC and baby formula

The makers of Similac and Enfamil face lawsuits brought by a growing number of parents throughout the United States, alleging that information has been withheld from parents and the medical community for years about the link between the baby formula and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC); a potentially deadly condition which sometimes afflicts preterm infants.

Studies have shown that cow’s milk formula products like Similac and Enfamil cause NEC for premature babies at substantially higher rates than is seen among babies fed breast milk or donor milk. This devastating disorder occurs when the walls of the intestines are invaded by bacteria, leading destruction of the bowel and often requiring emergency surgery while a premature baby is still in the NICU.

Although Similac and Enfamil have been aggressively marketed in recent years for use among premature and low birth-weight infants, lawsuits allege Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson knew or should have known about the substantial risk of NEC for premature babies, yet downplayed the information and actively worked against efforts by health experts to increase the use of breast milk whenever possible.

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Baby Formula Lawsuits

Premature infants fed Similac or Enfamil cow's milk formula faced increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) or wrongful death.

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In a study published just last month, Canadian researchers warned that preterm and low birth weight infants given cow’s milk-based formula were three times as likely to be transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for suspected NEC than those given donor milk.

Similar findings were published in October in the medical journal Nutrients, which found that breast milk was the “gold standard” for nutritional support during infancy, with antimicrobial and bioactive factors which helped prevent NEC.

The Similac lawsuits and Enfamil lawsuits allege that the manufacturers have consistently failed to warn the medical community and consumers that not only are their products not as effective as human breast milk, but that it may in fact increase the risk of babies contracting NEC, and potentially dying.

The families also claim the use of these formulas has displaced breast milk that infants would have otherwise received, robbing them of a primary defense against NEC, since studies have shown breast milk can serve as a protective measure.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, it is widely expected that a request will be filed in the coming months to establish consolidated pretrial proceedings in the federal court system, where the cases will be coordinated before one judge in a manner similar to a baby formula class action lawsuit.

Similac and Enfamil NEC Lawsuits

Was your premature baby diagnosed with NEC from baby formula?



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