Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

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Kaveny + Kroll is here to help you through this difficult process. We hope the Frequently Asked Questions below will help with most of your questions. If you can’t find the answer to your question, feel free to contact us.

Q: What are the Symptoms of NEC?

A: While symptoms of NEC can vary from baby to baby, a premature baby with necrotizing enterocolitis might have the following symptoms:

  • A swollen, red, or tender belly
  • Abdominal distention
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeding intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Temperature instability
  • Vomiting
  • Apnea (pauses in breathing)
  • Bradycardia (slowed heart rate
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

Q: How is NEC Diagnosed?

A: If a baby is exhibiting symptoms of NEC, a diagnosis can be confirmed through an abdominal x-ray to examine for abnormal gas patterns, which visually may present as a bubbly or streaky appearance of gas in the walls of the intestine.  A diagnosis may also be confirmed through a fecal occult blood test, elevated white blood cell count, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) or lactic acidosis.

(Courtesy Johns Hopkins Medicine and Kidshealth.org)

Q: What is the Treatment for NEC?

A: Treatment for NEC usually involves stopping feedings and relieving gas from the bowel by inserting a small tube into the stomach.  Antibiotic treatment and intravenous feeding may also be implemented.  The infant’s condition is continually monitored with abdominal x-rays, blood tests, and blood gases.

In the case of a hole in the intestine (perforation) or an inflammation of the abdominal wall (peritonitis), surgery will be required.  The necrotic, or dead, bowel tissue is removed and a colostomy (a surgical operation in which a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall so as to bypass a damaged part of the colon) or ileostomy (a surgical procedure which creates the opening of the end or loop of the small intestine out onto the surface of the skin – intestinal waste passes out of the ileostomy and is collected in an external ostomy system) is performed.  The bowel may then be reconnected several weeks or months later when the infection and inflammation have healed.

(Courtesy Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Q: What is a Premature Infants’ Prognosis for NEC?

A: Necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious disease, often resulting in death. Early, aggressive treatment helps to improve the outcome.

Q: What is the Deadline to File a Claim?

Every state in the U.S. has a different deadline for filing a lawsuit – this deadline is typically called the “statute of limitations.” States may also have a different, but similar law that’s known as the “statute of repose.” These statutes set a limited time period to file your claim or lawsuit and qualify for financial compensation for your damages and loss. Failure to file a claim or lawsuit before the statute of limitations or statute of repose deadline passes may forever bar you from financial recovery from the infant formula manufacturer for your losses and injury to your child. If you believe your child suffered harm including necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed cow’s milk based formula, contact the Infant Safety Lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights to recovery.

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.
3 – Id.


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