Facial nerve palsy occurs when the nerve controlling facial movements is damaged during birth. The most common cause of facial nerve palsy (sometimes referred to as Bell’s Palsy) is trauma and while most cases cure themselves, the condition is permanent in some children and affects one side of their faces for the rest of their lives. The improper use of instruments, rough treatment of the mother or child during birth or even negligent use of medications can all cause or contribute to this condition. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers a birth injury law firm dedicated to holding medical professionals accountable for negligent acts and representing the injured and their families.
Symptoms of Facial Nerve Palsy
Careful observation of a newborn when he or she cries is often enough to reveal damage to the seventh cranial nerve— the nerve that controls facial movements. The majority of facial nerve palsy affects the mouth and neighboring muscles but more severe cases can affect an entire side of the child’s face, making it impossible for the child to open and close an eyelid, or move any muscle on the side of his or her face. If your child’s face looks uneven when he or she cries or makes facial expressions, it is important to have the child examined by a doctor to determine the presence of facial nerve palsy.
Causes and Prognosis for Children With Bell’s Palsy
Rough treatment of the infant during delivery or shortly after is the primary cause of facial nerve palsy. This can include improper use of forceps, shaking the child, moving the mother too aggressively while she is in labor or any other action that is considered too aggressive or harsh for a newborn. There is a positive prognosis in most cases and the nerve controlling the affected muscles begins to function again within several months. In the event that the issue does not go away on its own, the child may never recover function in the affected muscles, which can be the cause of emotional trauma later in life.
While it is never the intention of a medical professional to harm his or her patient, when an act of negligence or medical malpractice results in injuries that affect the patient’s quality of living, compensation must be provided for the ongoing treatment of the injuries as well as any pain and suffering that is endured. If your child was injured during birth, contact the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to speak with a qualified birth injury lawyer who will help you explore your legal options and explain your rights in greater detail.
Our consultations are free of charge and we do not require payment upfront. After investigating the circumstances of your case we will be able to guide you through the following steps and help you understand the process of litigation so that you know what to expect. Because we work on a contingency basis, you will never be expected to pay a dime unless we are able to successfully collect compensation on your behalf.