Facial paralysis is the result of a difficult birthing process or by
birth injury caused by medical malpractice. While facial paralysis
may be present at birth, s tatistics have shown that about 50% of
all sufferers have complete spontaneous recovery within the first 30
days without any treatment or intervention. Another 20% suffering
from facial paralysis recover between 1 and 3 months of birth, while
another 5-10% recover between 4 and 6 months of birth. This leaves
20% of the group not recovering at all from facial paralysis.
Facial paralysis is caused by pressure on the baby's face during
labor or birth, or the use of forceps during childbirth, which may
also cause injury to a baby's facial nerves. In cases where the
nerve is merely bruised, the patient with facial paralysis will
usually recover within a few weeks. Cases involving more severe
nerve damage may necessitate an operation to surgically repair the
damaged facial nerves.
Because childbirth can be such a complicated process that exposes a
baby and a mother to physical harm, doctors must be extremely
experienced and ready to adjust to any possible complications that
may arise during the childbirth process. Birth injuries resulting in
facial paralysis can range from mild to severe, depending on the
cause of the injury. Facial paralysis is a condition caused by
compression of the facial nerves. In some difficult deliveries
facial paralysis is just an unfortunate result of the birthing
process, with some facial paralysis having no apparent cause.
Facial paralysis can be suffered while the infant is still inside of
the uterus or while being delivered. Depending on the extent of the
compression, the facial paralysis can affect the entire side of the
infant's face from the forehead to chin.
Most commonly, facial paralysis will involve just the lower branch
of the facial nerve that controls muscles around the lips. Lower
branch facial paralysis is more apparent and recognizable when the
Since facial paralysis is caused by damaged nerve fiber, and not
torn nerve fiber, the infant should completely heal from facial
paralysis in 80% of facial paralysis cases. A baby affected by
facial paralysis should be noticeable right after birth. Normal
expressions will be displayed differently and sometimes the baby's
eyelid on the affected side will not close.
There are some preexisting conditions, as well as certain factors
that have been identified to increase the risk of facial paralysis.
Since conditions such as facial paralysis can be the result of birth
trauma, it is important to identify and decrease risk of suffering
birth injuries. Prolonged pregnancies and labor, epidural
anesthesia, labors inducing drug use, and larger babies have all
been associated with a higher risk facial paralysis. While many of
these factors are not commonly associated to facial paralysis, extra
caution should be implemented when applicable.
Facial paralysis is usually on one side of the face, but is it not
uncommon for both sides to be involved. Most paralyses are a once in
a lifetime event, however it is not uncommon for patients to
experience multiple attacks. Following the first attack, the facial
muscles become weakened, making the patient more susceptible to
subsequent attacks. This can be avoided with facial rehabilitation
to bulk and strengthen facial muscles.
If your child is suffering from facial paralysis due to medical
malpractice, contact an attorney today. Medical malpractice lawsuits
can be difficult to prove and an experienced medical malpractice
attorney specializing in facial paralysis can make your claim
successful, resulting in compensation for you and your child.
Contact us by
Email or call us today at (401) 788-0600 to speak with a
someone from our firm..