Facial paralysis occurs in infants as the result of injuries sustained before, during, or after delivery. In addition to the impacts it has on their facial features and their ability to nurse, it can affect their later speech development.
At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we understand how devastating it can be for parents when a birth injury occurs. If your infant suffers facial paralysis, our experienced birth injury attorneys may be able to assist you in getting compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for the future medical care and expenses you are likely to face.
Causes of Facial Paralysis In Newborns
Medline Plus advises that facial paralysis is generally caused either by damage or swelling of the facial nerves, or as the result of brain trauma in the area that signals the muscles in the face. While some cases of facial paralysis resolve on their own, others result in lasting disabilities. Once the child is older, treatments may involve plastic surgery to correct the appearance and physical therapy to address problems with speech.
Adults may experience facial paralysis as the result of a stroke or brain tumor. In infants, it can be due to genetic factors, but it is more likely the result of birth injuries. Medscape, an information resource for healthcare professionals, reports that close to 90 percent of infant facial paralysis occur during long, difficult labors, which often involve the following:
- Extended pushing, which can put undue pressure on the infant’s head;
- The use of assisted delivery techniques, such as forceps and vacuum extraction, which increase the likelihood of birth trauma occurring;
- Breech birth, which requires the doctor to manually reposition the baby.
Holding Doctors Accountable For Birth Injuries
When facial paralysis occurs as the result of a birth injury, doctors can be held medically liable for their actions or inactions which allowed the injury to occur. This includes allowing mothers to labor for prolonged periods of time without intervening, using too much force in manual positioning, or due to improper use of extraction methods. Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, your family may be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitative costs your child incurs, both now and in the future;
- Lost wages suffered due to your child’s care requirements;
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish suffered by you and your spouse;
- Compensation for disfigurement and future disabilities.
Has Your Child Suffered A Birth Injury?
If your child suffered facial paralysis as the result of your doctor’s negligence, contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. Our birth injury attorneys act as a strong legal advocate to protect your family’s rights and interests, while helping you get the compensation you deserve.