Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Baby Formula
Does your firm want to help families of infants severely injured or killed by a dangerous product that carried insufficient warnings? Many products fall into this category, including baby formula, which can be especially hazardous when fed to premature infants. They may quickly recover from an infection related to formula use, they may require surgery, or the harm done may be so severe the condition becomes fatal.
Contact us today if your law firm wants to learn more about baby formula litigation or how ZeroRisk Cases®, can help you retain clients harmed by it.
What Harm Can Baby Formula Do?
More than thirty years ago, the connection between premature infants using formula based on cow milk and necrotizing enterocolitis (known as NEC) was established. NEC, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is a condition causing intestinal tissue to die which may result in a hole in the infant’s intestine. Bacteria may leak through, causing severe abdominal infections. Some infants require surgery to remove the damaged intestine. Only about 60-80% of newborns with NEC survive the condition, reports the National Institute of Health.
NEC mainly affects premature babies. It usually develops two to six weeks after birth. Being fed through a stomach tube increases the chances of NEC. It impacts about one in 1,000 premature babies, and the risk is greatest for babies weighing less than 2 pounds. The condition is about ten times less common for full-term infants.
The most common type of NEC is termed “classic” and typically affects those born before 28 weeks of pregnancy. Usually, the infant does well, and NEC develops without warning. “Atypical” NEC develops in the first week of life or before feeding starts. It can also be associated with transfusions to treat anemia or a birth defect. NEC outbreaks can also happen in neonatal intensive care units where bacteria spreads among infants.
The Cleveland Clinic claims, “Healthcare providers don’t know exactly what causes NEC.” But there is substantial evidence baby formula can play a role.
What Evidence Connects Baby Formula to NEC?
An article in the medical journal The Lancet published in December 1990 is based on the review of the care of 926 premature infants in United Kingdom hospitals based on their early diet. Researchers found:
- NEC developed in 51 of them, or 5.5% of the total
- Mortality was 26% in confirmed cases
- For infants just fed formula, NEC was six to ten times more common than those fed breast milk and three times more likely in infants given a combination of formula and breast milk
- For infants born at more than thirty weeks’ gestation, NEC was rare when their diet included breast milk and twenty times more common in those only fed formula
- Study authors estimated exclusive formula feeding in British neonatal units could result in about 500 extra cases of NEC annually, causing about a hundred deaths
Since then, several studies confirmed the link, including one published in 2017 in Advances in Nutrition. Researchers found:
- Five to 12% of very low birth weight infants develop NEC
- It’s treated by surgery in twenty to forty percent of cases and is fatal a quarter to half the time
- Many factors could lead to NEC, but the exact cause is not fully understood
- In severe cases, part of the intestine can die, leading to surgical removal
- The health care costs average more than $300,000 for an infant needing surgery
- Several studies show cow milk–based infant formulas lead to a higher incidence of NEC in preterm infants than human milk
- An alternative to cow milk formulas may be semielemental or elemental formulas. These specialty formulas have 100% broken-down proteins so they only have individual amino acids (organic compounds). Intact proteins can cause allergic or intolerance reactions. These formulas are easier to digest and absorb in the gut and may reduce the risk of NEC
Who are the Defendants in These Cases?
What are the Defendants Accused of Doing?
Despite published research and evidence that baby formula increases the risk of NEC, resulting in infections and death, the defendants haven’t changed their products, packaging, guidelines, instructions, or warnings. Warnings and instructions are broad and vague with no mention of NEC and resulting injuries. Decisions not to give adequate warnings show negligence by the defendants and make formula fed to premature infants a defective, dangerous product.
How We Help Your Firm Attract Baby Formula Clients
We focus our advertising efforts on TV, radio, organic SEO (Google, Bing, Yahoo), Google Maps, Google Ads, Bing, Facebook and Instagram, but depending on your ideal client profile, we may turn to other platforms. Unlike other mass tort ad agencies, we have experience with a number of different ad platforms, so we can use just the right one to get the job done. We focus on mobile marketing, utilizing Voice Search, to capture some of the best and highest converting leads.
We also use remarketing and behavioral targeting in our lead generation campaigns. Remarketing and behavioral targeting allow us to target the right people at the right time with the right message to get them on the phone.
After we’re contacted, the potential client is vetted to ensure quality, and our Intake Team starts the intake process.
Our latest technology utilizes our proprietary software that enables us to data mine information through third party vendors, resulting in cases where leads have been matched with their medical histories, diagnosis, drug prescription and treatments with exposure or usage of a caustic drug or chemical. This significantly reduces the cost of acquisition and provides a much higher value clients; one that has proof of usage or exposure; proof of diagnosis; and proof of treatment.
We limit how many law firms we work with, so we strive to create excellent client relationships and provide them clients for years to come. We are highly responsive and offer small introductory orders without contracts.
You should work with ZeroRisk Cases® because of the quality of our leads and the personal service we provide, not due to a contractual obligation.
Get started before your competitors do. There are only so many clients we can serve.
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