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Queens Facial Paralysis Injury

Paralysis is a condition affecting the ability to move a particular part of the body due to nerve or muscle damage. There are many different types of paralysis such as paraplegia and quadriplegia. A less familiar type of paralysis is facial paralysis where damage to facial nerves or muscles causes a loss of movement in the face. While facial paralysis can be caused by a brain injury suffered in a serious accident such as in a construction accident or a car accident, a common cause of facial paralysis in babies is a medical mistake that leads to a facial paralysis birth injury. If during delivery excessive pressure is placed on the baby’s face the baby could suffer facial paralysis. The treatment for facial paralysis can involve long-term physical therapy or surgery. In some cases the paralysis is permanent, causing the victim to suffer emotionally. If you are in need of a New York injury lawyer because your baby suffered facial paralysis due to your doctor’s negligence, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Queens facial paralysis injury lawyer who will explain your legal rights to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Causes of facial paralysis in babies

While in adults facial paralysis is typically caused by head trauma in a car accident or slip and fall accident, in babies facial paralysis is typically caused by trauma to the face that damages facial nerves. This usually happens when the doctor decides to use forceps during a vaginal delivery because the baby became stuck in the birth canal. The negligent use of forceps can lead to a number of injuries to both the mother and the baby including facial paralysis.

There are certain risk factors that make it more likely that a baby will suffer facial paralysis. These risk factors are related to the possibility that a vaginal delivery will be difficult or unsuccessful. For example, if the baby is particularly large or the mother’s pelvis is small, there is a greater likelihood that the mother will have a difficult time pushing the baby through the birth canal. This may cause the baby to get stuck and the medical staff may decide to use forceps, increasing the possibility of damage to nerves in the baby’s face. Other risk factors include shoulder dystocia, mother with a history of difficult labors, and use of an epidural.

Symptoms of facial paralysis

In babies facial paralysis typically occurs in the part of the face near the mouth and cheeks. The most common symptoms include:

  • Lack of movement in one side of face
  • An eyelid that does not close completely
  • Drooping of the eyes and face
  • An asymmetrical appearance to the face

In some cases facial paralysis is temporary and disappears on its own. In other cases treatment is required. Surgery may be required to decompress the nerve. Physical therapy may also be needed to strengthen the muscles in the affect area. However, even with surgery and physical therapy, the return of function is typically only partial.

One of the most important functions of facial nerves is to help eyelids open and close. In cases where the baby cannot close his or her eye, there is a significant possibility of damage to the eye. Treatment includes use of eye drops and the use of protective eyewear.

Pursuing compensation

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional such as an obstetrician, nurse, or other healthcare professional fails to take reasonable care and as a result the patient suffers an injury. Thus, if a doctor fails to monitor your baby or fails to appropriately assess the risk of facial paralysis or treat it, and as a result your baby is injured New York law allows you to hold that doctor and other medical professionals legally and financially liable.

The negligent party may be required to compensate you for your baby’s medical bills related to the injuries suffered because of the medical mistake. If as a result of your baby’s injury you end up missing a work, your damages could include compensation for the income you lost. The court may also award damages based on the physical and mental anguish your baby suffers because of the injury.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you suspect that you or your baby was injured because a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional failed to appropriately respond to the risk factors for facial paralysis or managed the condition in a negligent manner, do not hesitate to immediately contact an experienced birth injury attorney. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates is experienced in successfully representing clients who have suffered injuries due to mistakes made by medical professionals, as well as those injured in car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, and other types of accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.