Facial nerve palsy is one condition that can be caused by a birth injury, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The condition is caused by pressure on the facial nerve, also known as the seventh cranial nerve, during the birthing process. This pressure may occur naturally, but it can also be inflicted by certain birthing tools such as forceps.
Symptoms of facial nerve palsy include the inability to control the muscles of the face. Infants who have facial nerve palsy may be unable to close their eye on the affected side of the face, or may have lopsided facial expressions when crying, smiling, or grimacing. In severe cases, the child will have no movement on the affected side of the face at all; instead, these muscles will be totally paralyzed.
In some cases, facial nerve palsy goes away on its own as the body heals the injured nerve, especially if the condition is mild. More severe cases, however, may require therapy, and some cases of facial nerve palsy are permanent. Little is known about the causes or prevention of facial nerve palsy, but a difficult labor, including the use of epidural anesthesia or medications to produce stronger contractions, may be contributing factors.
Medical malpractice can cause serious and permanent injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured by a health care practitioner’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at Lipton Law. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.