Facial Paralysis as a Birth Injury
While the birth of a child should be a happy, joyous occasion, parents must also recognize the risk that a birth injury could occur. In particular, with the great amount of pressure put on the child, it is not uncommon at all for that infant to suffer temporary injuries. However, as doctors assist in child-birth, they may actually be increasing the stresses put on that infant, leading to even greater possibilities for birth injury. For instance, physicians who use forceps during the child’s delivery can cause nerve damage to the infant. This nerve damage can manifest in temporary or permanent facial paralysis.
The causes for facial paralysis can extend beyond the delivery procedures a physician decides to undertake. Before accepting pain medication, hospital staff should inform you of the risks of that medication, including warnings that epidural pain reducers and drugs to create stronger contractions both contribute to infant paralysis. A larger, heavier child can also add to the possibility of suffering paralysis, as can an extended labor period.
For newborns, the damage or pinching of the major facial nerve can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis of the facial features. To diagnose this paralysis, parents should pay special attention to their child’s appearance while crying. As the face distorts, if the lip does not move symmetrically or eyelids do not close fully, facial paralysis may be a reasonable concern.
Although some cases of paralysis are temporary, permanent paralysis may require treatment options to make the most out of the child’s motor functions. These treatments can be expensive and painful for the young child, and, in some circumstances, could have been avoided had the physician working on the delivery been more careful with the use of forceps. To learn more about how parents can fight against the wrongs their children have suffered, contact a birth injury attorney today.