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Claim For Your Baby’s Facial Palsy Caused by Birth Injuries
Facial palsy, otherwise known as Bell's palsy, is a common birth injury which affects newborn babies.
The most common feature of the condition is drooping of the facial muscles due to malfunction of the facial nerve. The facial nerve, also known as the seventh cranial nerve, causes the muscles to contract, affecting the eyebrows, eyelids and cheek muscles. Damage to it can cause severe symptoms, which last for life.
If your child has developed Bell’s palsy after birth and the injuries were down to medical negligence, JMW’s expert solicitors can claim compensation for your family. To find out more, call us today for a no obligation chat on 0800 054 6512 or fill in our online contact form and we will get back to you.
Causes and Symptoms of Facial Palsy
A delivery which requires the use of forceps can cause both facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy if procedures are not carried out correctly. Medical professionals and midwives are trained in the use of this kind of equipment, but if fast action needs to be taken – for instance if a baby experiences distress during birth and needs to be delivered quickly – then mistakes can easily be made.
When the facial nerve is damaged just prior to, or at the time of, delivery, paralysis to the side of the face stimulated by the damaged nerve is often the result. Paralysis normally affects part of the face, especially the muscles around the eye and the mouth. If the face muscles are weakened on one side, the mouth is usually pulled to the fully functioning side when the baby cries.
Facial paralysis can also be caused by compression or damage to the facial nerve whilst in the mother's womb, and after birth as a result of viral infection of the facial nerve, bacterial infections or HIV. You can find out more about the condition at www.bellspalsy.org.uk.
Changes to the Eye
If the eyelid sags or there is an ectropion (an outward turning of the lid margin), this may result in a watering eye or an inability to close the eye. For a newborn baby who wants to sleep, this can be extremely distressing. The eye can also be red and vision may become blurred.
Osteopathic manipulation is a popular treatment for a birth injury like facial palsy, along with face massage and the application of gentle heat to reduce pain.
Other treatments and therapies include a form of physical therapy known as ‘facial retraining’ and surgery to relieve pressure on the facial nerve, although surgery is rarely recommended.
Why Choose JMW?
A birth injury that affects a newborn baby is extremely upsetting for everybody involved. We understand that you will feel concerned about your child's health and want to seek compensation if you think medical negligence is the cause of their distress.
We will listen sympathetically to you, explaining clearly how the facial palsy compensation claim process works and what we can do on your behalf.