NEC – necrotizing enterocolitis – strikes preterm and premature infants. Research indicates that commercially manufactured infant formulas are directly tied to NEC. When an infant develops NEC, that infant’s parents should have a discussion about their rights and options promptly – from anywhere in the United States – with a California product liability attorney.
What is necrotizing enterocolitis? What are the symptoms, and what makes NEC so dangerous? What are the long-term effects of NEC? And how will a necrotizing enterocolitis lawyer help families with a child who has developed NEC?
If you will continue to read this short discussion of NEC, its long-term consequences, and your family’s legal rights, you will find the answers you may need, and you will also learn how the product liability laws may apply if your own infant has developed necrotizing enterocolitis.
What Are the Symptoms and Dangers of Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and decay of intestinal tissue. NEC also may cause sepsis and peritonitis. Necrotizing enterocolitis typically develops when a child is three to twelve days of age, but NEC can also develop weeks later.
Early symptoms vary, but very quickly, the symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting, changes in the heart rate, and abdominal pain and swelling. Necrotizing enterocolitis happens frequently, and it is the leading cause of death for premature infants who are more than two weeks old.
Research has demonstrated that both Enfamil and Similac increase a child’s risk of necrotizing enterocolitis. You may qualify to bring a product liability claim against a formula manufacturer if your child developed NEC after consuming Enfamil, Similac, or a comparable product.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of NEC?
Infants who are diagnosed with NEC usually require immediate surgery, and they have approximately a fifty percent mortality rate. Survivors of NEC may also have lifelong difficulties with digestion and with neurodevelopmental impairment.
Specifically, the long-term complications of necrotizing enterocolitis may include gastrointestinal problems (adhesions and strictures), neurodevelopmental delay, cholestasis, and short bowel syndrome.
The intestine may be narrowed, scarred, or blocked, and additional surgery may be required. Malabsorption – which is the inability to absorb nutrients properly – is often a life-long problem for NEC survivors.
How Is NEC Diagnosed?
When a newborn has the symptoms of NEC, a diagnosis is verified if an abnormal gas pattern appears on an X-ray. In some cases, air from the intestine moves to veins in the abdominal cavity or liver. A doctor may insert a needle and withdraw fluid to see if there is a hole in the intestine.
When an infant responds positively to treatment, the infant may go back to regular feedings after a week or two, but when that happens, breast milk is strongly recommended because it is easily digested, boosts immunity, and enhances development of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Are Baby Formula Manufacturers Liable for NEC?
Baby formula manufacturers are being targeted in lawsuits across the U.S. over claims by parents that some baby formula products – including Enfamil and Similac – cause necrotizing enterocolitis in newborn infants and particularly in premature newborns.
The parents who bring these lawsuits are claiming that the manufacturers of baby formulas – specifically Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories – knew or should have known about the risk of NEC and did not offer sufficient warnings to hospitals, doctors, or parents.
It is likely, given the abundant research that has linked necrotizing enterocolitis to commercially manufactured infant formulas, that these manufacturers were fully aware of the link.
What Steps Can Your Family Take?
The deadline for filing product liability claims depends on which state you live in. In many states, the deadline – or statute of limitations – is either two or three years, but if your child has developed NEC after consuming baby formula, make the call to a product liability lawyer now.
From wherever you may be in the United States, a California product liability attorney can help you, but it is essential for your attorney to examine the medical records – before those records are lost or changed – and to question any witnesses before their recollections of your child fade.
If you’ve missed the deadline in your state, your case may possibly qualify as an exception, or your claim possibly could be filed in another state, but if your infant developed NEC recently (or passed away recently due to NEC), contact a California product liability lawyer immediately.
What Will a Lawyer’s Help Cost?
If your family is dealing with substantial medical costs because of your child’s necrotizing enterocolitis, you do not have to let financial worries prevent you from pursuing compensation and justice. Your product liability lawyer will work for your family on a contingent fee basis.
You’ll pay no attorney’s fee in advance, and you will owe no fee to your attorney unless and until your family recovers the compensation you need. If your family isn’t compensated at the conclusion of the product liability process, you will owe no fee to your attorney.
Product liability lawyers provide a preliminary case review without cost or obligation to families with children who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis. That initial case review is your opportunity to receive personalized advice and learn how the laws apply to your own case.
Meet the Team at Frost Law Firm
But which lawyer should you choose? Is there a lawyer who has substantial experience handling NEC cases and who represents clients across the nation? The answer to that question is yes. The attorneys at Frost Law Firm have over a hundred combined years of product liability experience.
Attorney Scott L. Frost heads up a formidable team of attorneys who have extensive experience representing the parents of children with necrotizing enterocolitis. We handle NEC claims throughout the United States. We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. are one of the few plaintiff’s firms in California that has actually filed a lawsuit for NEC.
An attorney at Frost Law Firm will review and evaluate your case without cost or obligation, and you’ll obtain specific and personalized legal advice. All of your concerns will be addressed, and you will learn what steps you should take in order to bring a product liability claim in your state.
If your claim succeeds, you will be compensated for your child’s medical expenses and related losses and damages. If you need to learn more, or if you are ready to start the legal process, call Frost Law Firm promptly – at 866-FROST-WINS – and put your NEC case in our hands.