Facial paralysis, also referred to as Bell's Palsy, can occur when too much force is applied when using forceps to aid in labor/delivery; injuring the seventh cranial nerve (which controls facial muscle movement and sensation.) Sometimes, the question arises as to whether forceps should have been used at all.
Trauma to the facial nerves may result in paralysis or in muscle weakness. Paralysis is often temporary and may subside over time. However, birth injuries, such as facial paralysis, caused by substandard medical care or negligence can affect the quality of life and development of a newborn. Facial paralysis may not always affect the entire face, but it can in some cases, or it may affect the area from the baby's chin to the forehead. Vision can be affected by facial nerve trauma; resulting in an inability to properly open and close the eye. If a facial nerve is severed or seriously damaged to the point of causing permanent paralysis, surgery may be required in addition to physical therapy to treat the resulting "palsy". Similarly, if palsy is permanent, a child may require psychological counseling to deal with issues surrounding the physical deformity.
One way in which doctors determine whether a baby suffers from facial paralysis is by observing how the baby cries; looking for drooping of the mouth and lips.
If your child has suffered facial paralysis, contact Blume Forte for a free consultation. Our NJ birth injury lawyers will utilize their extensive knowledge of birth related medical malpractice litigation to assist you in pursuing a justified and meritorious claim. Call us today at (973) 635-5400.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.