There are many nerves throughout the neck and face of a newborn which can be injured due to negligent treatment provided by doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers during birth.
Infants with facial nerve palsies lose voluntary control of muscle movement in their face. These injuries, resulting in these palsies, are caused by trauma at the time of delivery. A number of facial palsy cases directly result from the misuse of medical instruments such as forceps.
The symptoms of facial nerve palsies include lack of mouth or facial movement, and/or asymmetric movement of the mouth and eyes (the mouth may not move the same way on both sides while crying or laughing/smiling). In other cases, one eyelid may not close properly or the entire affected side of the face may not move at all. When these signs and symptoms are present, a physical exam and other tests are needed to diagnose the condition.
In some cases, the infant may only require close monitoring and/or limited therapy as the paralysis resolves. However, some infants with facial nerve palsies suffer permanent paralysis and may require surgeries and/or ongoing therapy to address their cosmetic deformities and functional deficits.
If your child has suffered injuries at birth, you may be able to recover compensation for their injuries. Damages may also include potential lost wages, pain and suffering, and the costs associated with care needed to treat the resulting conditions. A successful medical malpractice claim can help provide families the support they need to recover both economically and emotionally.
The New Jersey birth injury lawyers at Blume Forte are Certified Civil Trial Attorneys with significant experience handling matters surrounding birth injuries. Contact us at (973) 635-5400 to discuss your potential claim at no cost.