About NEC


About NEC


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What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing enterocolitis, otherwise known as NEC, is an extremely dangerous medical condition that primarily affects premature infants.  NEC occurs from the rapid destruction of the intestines, resulting in tissue death, or necrosis.  It can also result in a hole or perforation in the intestinal wall.  NEC can also cause injuries including blindness, loss of intestinal function, cerebral palsy and death. In most instances, NEC is a catastrophic condition.

While there is no single consistent cause of NEC, research and clinical observation has identified formula feeding with cow’s milk based formula as associated with an increased risk of NEC.  If your child has suffered from NEC after feeding with a cow’s milk based formula, contact Kaveny + Kroll to learn more about your legal rights.

The Danger of Cow’s Milk Based Formula in Prematurity

Breast is best for babies. While breast milk contains the best possible food for any baby as it includes enzymes and nutrients that protect infants from infection along with giving way to healthy organ development, for premature babies, this is not always possible. Often times, a mother’s milk may not have come in yet, necessitating the need for donor breast milk.

Clinical studies and scientific research have shown that the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is increased by the administration of infant formula and decreased by the administration of breast milk.[1]  Moreover, clinical research has confirmed that premature babies who are fed an exclusive diet of human milk, without cow’s milk containing products, have a lower risk of NEC and death when compared with those that have been fed cow’s milk products.[2]

Premature infants who are fed with cow’s milk base formula become at risk for NEC because the proteins delivered are difficult for a premature baby to digest. In addition, formulas (such as powder based) are not sterile, and pose the risk for infection.

Abbott and Mead Johnson, the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil products did not properly warn parents of the dangers associated with their formulas and prematurity.

Kaveny + Kroll are investigating cases involving infant injuries and death from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after feeding with any of the following formula products:

  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
  • EnfaCare Powder
  • Similac Special Care

If you believe your child has suffered Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) resulting in injury or death after being fed Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier, EnfaCare Powder, or Similac Special Care formula, contact an Infant Safety Lawyer at Kaveny + Kroll as soon as possible for a free initial case evaluation.

[1] Good, Misty, et al., Evidence Based Feeding Strategies Before and After the Development of Necrotizing Enterocolitis. (Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2014 July; 10 (7): 875-884.) Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24898361/, last accessed Feb. 15, 2021.

[2] Abrams, Steven, et al. Greater Mortality and Morbidity in Extremely Preterm Infants Fed a Diet Containing Cow Milk Protein Products. (Breastfeeding Medicine. 2014, Nov. 4, 9 (6):281-286.) Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24867268/, last accessed Feb. 15, 2021.


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