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What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

¿Qué es la enterocolitis necrosante?

Enfamil y Similac: Why Are They Dangerous?

Babies born prematurely are extremely vulnerable, so they need to be constantly monitored while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and afterward when parents can finally take them home.

Premature circumstances can lead to a shortage of breast milk production, so babies are fed formula or a mixture of the two types of milk.

Baby formulas, especially Enfamil and Similac, contain cow’s milk. According to research and studies, this is one of the main causes of necrotizing enterocolitis, especially in premature babies.

In 2011, it was warned that formula feeding was associated with higher rates of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Despite this knowledge, manufacturers of baby formulas such as Enfamil and Similac have refused to warn parents or medical professionals about the NEC risks cow’s milk-based formulas represent for premature babies. Both companies market cow’s milk-derived formulas for premature babies.

What is necrotizing enterocolitis?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) affects the intestines of premature newborns (less than 37 complete weeks of gestation), from a few days to a few weeks after birth, as bacteria invade the intestinal wall. In severe cases, the intestines can become inflamed and perforated, allowing bacteria and other substances to leak into the abdomen or bloodstream.

There are treatments that save a baby’s life. These include stopping all regular feeding for a period of time and nourishing through an intravenous catheter. A nasogastric tube is also inserted from the nose to the stomach, assisting with fluid suction. Antibiotics must be administered and continuous radiographs should be taken to monitor this terrible disease. Although these treatments are usually effective in some cases, parents suffer terrible distress.

When treatment is effective, the baby can lead a healthy life. However, severe cases can be potentially fatal and may require transfusions, surgery, and much more invasive treatments that can also bring complications later.

Symptoms and complications of NEC

Some symptoms are:

  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen
  • Redness in the belly
  • Heart rate changes
  • Blood from stool
  • Vomit
  • Food intolerance and weight loss

There are also some long-term complications such as:

  • Cholestasis and liver dysfunction
  • Deficient growth/malnutrition
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Sepsis/a severe infection
  • Neurocognitive deterioration

Our commitment

Abogados Centro Legal cares about premature babies’ safety and well-being. That is why we want to share this information with you and call for action to protect premature babies from NEC.

If you have a premature baby with health problems related to NEC, we recommend talking to your pediatrician about the safest feeding options. However, if you require immediate legal assistance, contact us. You can reach Abogados Centro Legal at 205 940 2233 or schedule a free consultation.

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