Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) has become a much-talked-about subject in today’s America. The tragic disease has seen a rise in cases affecting premature infants, even leading to death in some of the most severe cases. Families affected by improperly researched and manufactured formula products, made by companies such as Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, have likely found themselves wondering not only about their legal options but about the nature of necrotizing enterocolitis itself. To assist those in need, here is a quick primer for understanding necrotizing enterocolitis:
What is NEC
NEC, or necrotizing enterocolitis, is a condition that affects the intestines of premature infants (those delivered at less than 37 full weeks of gestation), and can also affect infants within a period of a few weeks before birth. Necrotizing enterocolitis occurs when harmful bacteria both invade and infect the wall of an infant’s intestines. Severe cases of necrotizing enterocolitis can cause an infant’s intestines to become inflamed, perforated, or invaded by other harmful bacteria and substances. These afflictions can cause bacteria and other dangerous substances to leak into both the abdomen and bloodstream of affected premature infants.
Necrotizing enterocolitis can lead to severe, life-long symptoms, and even death when premature infants are afflicted. The tragic diagnosis can lead to financial, psychological, and emotional fallouts, especially when necrotizing enterocolitis becomes deadly to the premature infant. Thankfully, professional firms like RIL handling NEC lawsuits are prepared to guide you through the difficult process of filing a lawsuit against manufacturers that have produced necrotizing enterocolitis-linked cow’s milk-derived formula products.
Both Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories (the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac) are the key targets of many of these NEC baby food-related lawsuits (including a large class-action suit that’s currently occurring in the Northern District of Illinois). Staying up-to-date with the nature of these lawsuits can help you navigate the complex legal world surrounding NEC baby food-related lawsuits.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of NEC I Should Watch Out For
When you’ve given birth to a premature infant, you must know the warning signs and symptoms associated with necrotizing enterocolitis. Educating yourself about necrotizing enterocolitis can make the difference between your infant leading a healthy life, or being tragically afflicted by dangerous necrotizing enterocolitis. The currently most common symptoms include the following:
-Abnormal Heart Rate
-Abnormal Weight Gain Patterns
-Abnormal Blood Pressure
Infants that gain necrotizing enterocolitis in the womb, however, will need their affliction diagnosed by a medical professional. The vast majority of necrotizing enterocolitis cases occur with premature infants that are outside the womb, however.
Possible Medical Complications of NEC
Several prominent medical routes are used to treat necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants. Most often, doctors will stop all regular feeding activities for the infant and instead use an intravenous catheter to feed the infant needed nutrients. Nasogastric tubes are then inserted through the infant’s nose, allowing the doctors to remove fluids from the infant’s stomach, and giving them the ability to introduce antibiotics into the premature infant’s system (which helps to combat the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis).
The increasingly common nature of necrotizing enterocolitis has led the medical world to fight it more aggressively. Currently, the majority of necrotizing enterocolitis cases in premature infants are resolved without major or life-long complications occurring. Unfortunately, there are still severe cases that lead to much more damaging results. Around 30% of infants that are diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis will require surgery to correct the affliction. For between 20-to-30% of cases, the effects of necrotizing enterocolitis prove fatal.
Infants that survive necrotizing enterocolitis can end up developing severe, life-afflicting long-term complications, and even life-long complications. The most common major complications of NEC are as follows:
-Poor Growth Patterns
-Short Bowel Syndrome
-Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Cholestasis
-Metabolic Bone Disease
Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit Due to My Child’s Exposure to NEC?
Understanding your rights is crucial if your premature infant was afflicted by necrotizing enterocolitis. If your infant’s case meets the following criteria, you likely qualify to join the class-action suit against Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories (Enfamil/Similac):
-Your child was born prematurely (less than 37 full weeks of gestation).
-Your child was fed cow’s milk-derived formula before they developed NEC
-Your child was diagnosed with NEC
-Your child suffered an injury, life-long condition, or death as a result of NEC
You do not need to go through this fight alone. With the right legal help, you can navigate the legal needs of your case, and join the class action suit against Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories. Being on top of gaining the restitution you deserve after experiencing a family tragedy is possible, you just need to take the first step.