Link Between Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Cows’ Milk-Based Baby Formula and Fortifiers Exposed

The Yost Legal Group has produced an important educational video about the alarming link between certain types of baby formula and fortifiers (those that are specifically manufactured for premature infants) made with cows’ milk and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies (babies born prior to 37 weeks gestation).

NEC is a serious gastrointestinal condition with a high morbidity rate that may require emergency intestinal surgery. It could lead to what is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome, where holes form in the intestinal wall and harmful toxins and fecal matter leak out, potentially leading to sepsis or even death.

Shortly after birth, when a premature infant is unable to breast and/or bottle feed, they are often fed cows’ milk-based formula and/or fortifiers through a feeding tube. However, researchers have concluded that the underdeveloped gastrointestinal tracts of premature babies have a difficult time digesting the proteins in cows’ milk. As a result, preterm infants that receive formula and/or fortifiers made using cows’ milk through their feeding tubes are much more likely to develop NEC. Unfortunately, this condition can be fatal, or require a lifetime of care.

“The manufacturers of Similac or Enfamil failed to warn parents and healthcare providers of the risks of premature infants ingesting their cows’ milk-based formulas and fortifiers – even though suitable alternatives were available.”

  • Tom Yost, Founder, The Yost Legal Group

Symptoms of NEC in Premature Infants Include:

  • Pain and swelling of the abdomen
  • Changes in a baby’s heart rate and blood pressure
  • Diarrhea and blood in the stool (sometimes not visible)
  • Vomiting that is yellow or green in color
  • Feeding intolerance or residuals
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Unusual lethargy

Manufacturers of Cows’ Milk-Based Formula and Fortifiers Withheld Information About Harm to Premature Infants

The manufacturers of cows’ milk-based formula and fortifiers, Similac and Enfamil, failed to warn parents and healthcare providers of the risks of premature infants ingesting their products. Despite suitable alternatives being available such as preterm infant formula and fortifiers made using human milk, mothers’ own breast milk, and human donor breast milk, the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac continue to market their cows’ milk-based formulas and fortifiers for premature babies with feeding tubes, putting them at significant risk.

If you or a loved one’s premature infant has been diagnosed with NEC due to being fed cows’ milk-based formula and/or fortifiers, they may be entitled to compensation. Contact the defective product lawyers at The Yost Legal Group by filling out and submitting a contact form online or calling our office at 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-967-8529) for a free legal consultation today.