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Facial nerve palsy is a birth injury that may never go away

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2018 | medical malpractice

While thousands of babies are born naturally each year without incident, there are cases in which moms and newborns suffer injuries. During childbirth, a baby can develop facial nerve palsy.

This condition can cause them to lose their ability to voluntarily control the muscles in their face. While some cases of this condition are temporary or can be fixed with surgery, some children with this condition may end up with paralyzed facial muscles.

A baby typically will either suffer injuries that cause facial nerve palsy immediately before or during the birthing process. Those that are born after a particularly long pregnancy or traumatic birth are the ones most apt to be born with this condition, especially if forceps are used to deliver them. Larger babies, especially those belonging to moms who have gestational diabetes, are more likely to develop this condition as well.

Moms who are administered medications to speed up their labor or to help intensify their contractions are more likely to have babies that develop facial nerve palsy than babies born to moms who don’t take these medications. Newborns belonging to moms who had an epidural have a higher rate of this condition as well.

Newborns who suffer from this condition may have visible asymmetry along the lower portion of their faces and in the mouth area. The side of their face that has been affected by this condition may appear to be paralyzed. This paralysis can extend from the chin on up to the forehead. Individuals with this type of palsy generally cannot close the eyelid on the affected side of their face.

While most babies that are born with this condition grow out of it within a few months of their birth, others may need to undergo surgery to have the pressure that has built up on their nerve released. In some cases, children will need to undergo therapy to help with their symptoms.

Birth injuries can happen for many reasons. If a woman in the early stages of her pregnancy isn’t given adequate prenatal care, that could increase the risk to her and her infant. They can also occur if a doctor fails to perform a cesarean section when they should have.

You should entrust the investigation into why your birth injury occurred to an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney who’s had success in getting compensation for those wronged.