Facial paralysis is commonly a side effect of a birthing process that is difficult or one that results in birth injuries because of a type of medical malpractice. The first noticeable symptoms of facial paralysis are often seen immediately, although about half of all those affected will spontaneously recover completely within thirty days without the need for any type of medical intervention or treatment. Of the remaining half of patients, twenty percent affected with facial paralysis recover after one to three months following birth, and five to ten percent recover after four to six months following birth. The remaining twenty percent of patients with facial paralysis never recover.
The condition of facial paralysis happens when the facial nerves are compressed. In some deliveries that are difficult this can happen as a side effect of the process of birth, with no real reason or explanation for the facial paralysis occurring.
Facial paralysis can happen when the baby is being born, or while he or she is still inside of the womb. That being said, the main cause of the condition is due to pressure that is applied to the baby’s face during birth or the labor process. Forceps use during the delivery process can also cause injuries that result in the facial nerves being damaged.
Since the process of childbirth can be so complicated, and since both the mother and the baby have a high potential for harm, it is extremely important that medical professionals be quite experienced and be able to adjust to any situation and potential complication that could come up. If the doctor, hospital, or other medical personnel is found to be negligent, serious harm such as facial paralysis could result.
There are certain risk factors and preexisting conditions that increase the possibility of suffering the condition of facial paralysis . Because conditions like facial paralysis can be a side effect of a birthing trauma, it is necessary to be aware of all risk factors in order to decrease their possibility. Failing to identify these risks could actually increase the possibility of this and other types of birth injuries. Common risk factors include: drugs used to induce labor, prolonged labor or pregnancy, larger birth weight, and epidural anesthesia.
Even though these risk factors do not mean a birth injury such as facial paralysis will occur, extra care needs to be taken when any of these factors are present.
It should be quite obvious to detect a baby with facial paralysis immediately following birth. The normal expressions seen by the baby will appear to be different and the eyelid on the side that has been affect will fail to close. Depending on how much compression was applied to the facial nerves, the entire side of the baby’s face from chin to forehead could be affected. More often, facial paralysis will just impact one portion of the face as it impacts the lower branch of the nerves of the face that are used for muscle control near the lip area. This is noted clearly when the child cries. Facial paralysis most often affects just one side of the face; however there are times when both sides could be affected.
Injuries at birth that result in facial paralysis can range in severity from mild to serious depending on what caused the injury to occur. If the nerve is just bruised, the facial paralysis will resolve itself within a few weeks time. In the event that the nerve has been damaged in a more severe nature, it may necessitate the need for surgery to repair the damage. Because most cases of facial paralysis are due to damage to the nerve fiber, and not nerve fiber that is torn, the child should be able to heal from the paralysis eighty percent of the time.
Another issue to be aware of is the possibility of multiple occurrences. Most patients only suffer from paralyses once in a life time, but it is possible for the issue to happen again. After the first occurrence, the facial muscles can weaken, causing the patient to be more prone to future attacks. This can be avoided if the patient undergoes therapy to rehab and strengthen the muscles of the face.
If your child has been the victim of an injury that has led to facial paralysis , and you believe this happened because of negligence or medical malpractice, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These types of cases can be somewhat difficult to prove, so you will need the expertise of a legal professional who is familiar with this area of the law. He or she will manage every aspect of your case from start to finish, and will work hard to achieve a favorable outcome for you and your child, while holding everyone responsible accountable for their actions.
Medical professionals, and hospitals have teams of legal counsel working hard to protect them and their interests at all times. They will attempt to negotiate with you to get your claim to disappear so as not to tarnish their image or reputation. While taking a settlement can be tempting, you should never do so without first talking with your own attorney. He or she will review your case details, the offer details, and determine if this is the best way to proceed, or if it would be better for you to bring forth a lawsuit.
Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you do not have to fund your claim in advance and often pay nothing until the case has settled. This can be quite comforting and will remove a great deal of stress from the process of pursuing legal action. Injuries of any type on the part of medical professionals should never go unpunished. Not only will taking legal action help to compensate your family for the damage done, as well as protect your rights, and the rights of your child, it will also help protect others from suffering the same consequences in the future.