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Washington, D.C. Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawyer

Doctor check up newborn baby

Did your premature infant develop necrotizing enterocolitis due to cow’s milk-based baby formula? If so, you could have a legal case against the medical providers or product manufacturers who administered or sold the defective product to the public. As a parent, you have a right to be angry and demand accountability for what happened to your child. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer could help you seek the answers and justice you and your family deserve.

The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates is a distinguished firm representing victims of medical malpractice in Washington, D.C. Dr. Wilson is both a physician and an attorney, giving our legal team an edge in identifying challenges and seeking solutions in your case.

Nothing is more precious than the health and wellbeing of your baby. If you suspect that a doctor, hospital, or product manufacturer acted negligently, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you and your family deserve during this difficult time.

Premature Babies and Nutrition

Premature babies are defined as infants born before 37 weeks of gestation. Infants born this early are not fully developed and can face serious health issues. Premature babies have different needs than infants born at full-term.

Premature babies still require significant growth and development. To achieve this growth and meet their basic nutritional needs, a premature baby requires more calories, protein, and nutrients than a full-term infant.

Keeping up with the nutritional demands of a premature infant can be challenging for new mothers. Breastmilk contains everything that a premature infant needs to thrive. However, it can sometimes be difficult for a woman to produce enough to keep up with the infant’s demands. When breastmilk is not an option, a premature baby may need supplemental feeding with donor milk or infant formula.

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a dangerous condition that primarily impacts premature infants. NEC occurs when tissue in the small or large intestines becomes inflamed, eventually causing the tissue to die. NEC can also result in holes or perforations in the colon and intestine. Waste can leak out of these holes and enter the body or bloodstream of the infant. The bacteria in human waste will eventually cause infection and potentially sepsis.

How Dangerous Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Necrotizing enterocolitis can be extremely dangerous. A premature infant does not have a fully developed immune system. As such, the body can have a tremendously difficult time battling NEC-related infections.

An infection that progresses to the point of sepsis can jeopardize an infant’s life. Sepsis is a condition that develops when the body’s infection-fighting cells turn against it. Eventually, sepsis can cause organs to function improperly and potentially shut down.

NEC can also cause portions of the intestines to disintegrate. Once these sections die, they must be surgically removed. Any portions that are not removed quickly can further damage the digestive tract. Intestinal destruction can result in significant infection, sepsis, and death.

Necrotizing enterocolitis can cause digestive problems, growth issues, neurodevelopmental issues, and if left untreated, it is fatal.

Which Baby Formulas Use Cow’s Milk as a Base?

When an infant can’t get enough breastmilk, or if breastmilk is not an option, they may be fed formula. Most baby formulas in the U.S. use cow milk as a base. About 80 percent of all formula sold today is cow’s milk-based.

However, studies indicate that feeding premature infants cow’s milk-based formula may increase their chances of developing NEC. Some studies suggest the immune systems of premature infants cannot respond to antigenic stimuli caused by the dietary antigens found in cow’s milk-based formulas.

Almost every major formula brand has a cow’s milk-based formula in its product line, including:

  • Enfamil
  • Similac
  • Gerber
  • Happy Baby
  • Earth’s Best
  • Parent’s Choice

Large manufacturers like Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company make many of these formulas.

What Are the Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

A premature infant can’t tell you when something is wrong. They must be monitored closely for signs of the condition, which may include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Yellow or green vomit
  • Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat
  • Poor weight gain

Newborn baby in hospital

Who Is Liable If My Child Develops NEC from Drinking Cow’s Milk-Based Formulas?

The problem with cow’s milk-based formulas is that these formulas carry no warning label indicating necrotizing enterocolitis is a potential complication. Additionally, pediatricians may not have been offered guidance on the potential risks that cow’s milk-based formulas pose to premature infants.

However, hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are staffed by specialists who should know that NEC is a potential risk among premature babies. Neonatologists, NICU nurses, and pediatric surgeons are responsible for monitoring an infant’s progress and identifying NEC signs before there is necrosis or bowel perforation.

Once a baby is diagnosed with NEC, medical providers should follow a protocol to give the baby’s bowels a chance to rest. This starts with stopping oral feedings and providing IV nutrition to the infant. Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics to ward off infection. They will also consult with surgeons to determine whether surgery is possible or necessary.

You could have several legal options if your child developed necrotizing enterocolitis after drinking cow’s milk-based formula. First, you could file a claim against the company that sold the formula to the hospital. You might also have a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital if they failed to monitor or diagnose your child with NEC. A lawyer from The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates can help determine whether you are eligible to file a Washington, D.C. necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) lawsuit.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an NEC Lawyer?

If your premature child has developed NEC, chances are you are more concerned with managing their recovery than anything else. Unfortunately, the medical expenses associated with caring for a sick or injured premature infant can be staggering. To get the compensation you and your family deserve, get in touch with a skilled Washington, D.C. injury attorney as soon as possible.

At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates, we understand the toll that a severe health condition like NEC can take on a family’s finances and physical and emotional health. That’s why our law firm offers free consultations to all potential clients. If you hire us, we won’t charge you anything unless we win your case.

Contact a Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawyer in Washington, DC Today

Judge's gavel and doctor's stethoscopeIf your baby developed NEC from drinking cow’s milk-based baby formula, turn to Dr. Wilson and the team at The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. and Associates for help. We’ll leverage our extensive medical and legal experience to build a case for maximum compensation for you. Call or reach out to us online right away for a free case review.

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