Pope & Howard, P.C., is one of the top birth injury law firms in Atlanta. When birth injuries, such as facial paralysis, are caused by sub-standard medical care or medical negligence, it can affect the development and quality of life of a newborn. In some cases, paralysis affects the entire face, while in others it may only affect the area from the baby’s chin to the forehead. Vision can also be affected, resulting in an inability to properly open and close the eyes.
Facial paralysis is the paralysis or weakness of the muscle on one side of the face. It occurs when too much force is applied when using forceps to aid in labor or delivery, injuring the seventh cranial nerve (the nerve that controls facial muscle movement and sensation). Sometimes, the question arises as to whether forceps should have been used at all.
If a facial nerve is severed or seriously damaged to the point of causing permanent paralysis, surgery may be required in addition to physical therapy. If the paralysis is permanent, a child may also require psychological counseling to deal with issues surrounding the physical deformity.
A doctor can determine whether a baby is suffering from facial paralysis by observing how he or she cries, noting a drooping of the mouth and lips.
Read more about birth injuries or contact Pope & Howard, P.C., in Atlanta for a consultation about your case.