Bell’s palsy is the most common type of facial paralysis in newborns, infants, and children. Infant Bell’s palsy occurs either before birth as a congenital abnormality or during the birth process because of a birth injury. The facial paralysis is often temporary but could be permanent in some children. If doctors diagnosed your newborn with infant Bell’s palsy, you should discuss your options with a medical malpractice attorney.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Infant Bell’s Palsy Lawsuits and Injury Cases
If your child suffered facial paralysis caused by a birth injury, you may be eligible to pursue damages to cover their medical care, therapy and rehabilitation, out-of-pocket costs, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. An infant Bell’s palsy birth injury attorney in your state can help you:
- Identify all potentially liable parties, including the doctor and hospital.
- Build a strong case showing negligence.
- Identify a medical expert witness to testify to the accepted standard of care.
- Document your recoverable damages.
- Understand the deadlines that apply in your case.
Doctors and other medical care providers have a responsibility to ensure labor and delivery is as safe as possible for both the mother and the baby. They must follow certain protocols and adhere to an accepted standard of care. This includes identifying risks for complicated or difficult delivery and deciding to perform a cesarean section. They also have strict procedures they must follow during a difficult delivery, especially when using forceps or other tools.
Infant Bell’s Palsy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Infant Bell’s Palsy Overview
Infant Bell’s palsy occurs because of damage to the seventh cranial nerve. While this condition can be congenital, it is often the result of a birth injury. Bell’s palsy causes facial paralysis on one side of the face.
Infant Bell’s Palsy Causes
If the doctor applies too much pressure to the infant’s head and neck during a difficult delivery, nerve damage may occur. Some of the factors that increase the risk for this type of injury include:
- Long labor
- The use of epidural anesthesia during labor
- The use of Pitocin to induce strong contractions during labor
- Large babies, common in women with gestational diabetes or who are pregnant more than 40 weeks
- The use of forceps, vacuum, or another similar device during delivery.
It is important to note that Bell’s palsy may also be congenital or related to a viral infection before birth.
Infant Bell’s Palsy Symptoms
Infant Bell’s palsy causes weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. In newborns, you may notice the baby’s eye droops, and his mouth does not move symmetrically when he cries. He may also be unable to blink the affected eye.
Infant Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors can usually diagnose infant Bell’s palsy based on observation and by ruling out other causes of similar symptoms. They may want to run tests to check the newborn’s sensory perception, sight, and hearing.
While there is no one best treatment for infant Bell’s palsy, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, like many other facilities, recommends physical therapy for infant Bell’s palsy to stimulate the facial nerve. This is often paired with other treatments depending on the needs of the individual patient.
Most infants with Bell’s palsy recover fully within six months, but many require intensive eye care until fully recovered since they often cannot blink on their own. Infant Bell’s palsy can, however, result in permanent facial paralysis.
Infant Bell’s Palsy Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has infant Bell’s palsy?
In most cases, doctors diagnose serious cases of infant Bell’s palsy before the newborn leaves the hospital. In minor cases where the paralysis is not evident, you may notice that the sides of your baby’s mouth look different when they cry. They may open one side much wider than the other, or only move one side.
If you see this or other signs of facial paralysis in your newborn, reach out to your doctor for a diagnosis.
Can infant Bell’s palsy be fatal?
Infant Bell’s palsy is not fatal, but it requires prompt diagnosis and medical attention. This is primarily to protect the child’s vision if they cannot blink the affected eye.
Who is liable for infant Bell’s palsy?
If your infant acquired Bell’s palsy because of a birth injury or suffered lasting effects because of a delayed diagnosis, you may be able to hold the doctor who delivered him or the hospital where he was born liable.
What is the statute of limitations for infant Bell’s palsy?
When you discuss your case with an infant Bell’s palsy birth injury attorney from your state, they can explain the deadlines that will apply that dictate when you need to take legal action. Each state has its own statute of limitations, period for tolling (suspending) that deadline when the victim is a minor, and statute of repose, which is an absolute deadline for when you must file a lawsuit.
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Infant Bell’s Palsy Glossary Terms
- What are vesicles? Vesicles are tiny blisters that develop in the ears or mouth of patients with Ramsey Hunt syndrome. This condition is often confused with Bell’s palsy because they cause similar facial paralysis.
- What is microtia? Microtia is a congenital deformity of the external ear. Underdevelopment of the ear is an anomaly associated with congenital Bell’s palsy.
- What are nasolabial folds? The nasolabial folds are the two skin folds on each side of the mouth that run to the nose, separating the cheeks from the lips. These folds often flatten in babies with Bell’s palsy.
Talk to a Bell’s Palsy Birth Injury Attorney in Your State
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys can help you understand if you have a case against the doctor or hospital and can take legal action on your behalf. Call 1-800-222-9529 now to connect with an attorney in your state.
Bell’s Palsy Lawyer News
Another form of palsy is facial palsy. Bell’s Palsy is the most common type, but there are other forms. The symptoms are similar. The nerves and the muscles of the face do not communicate for some reason and cause paralysis or shaking. Birth injuries can cause this illness. However, it can be treatable.
According to WTRV.com, an 8-year-old boy is receiving the last procedure he needs to fix his facial paralysis. The movement on the right side of his face is limited.
Thanks to fundraising efforts from the local community, including a motorcycle and classic car show, the boy will now receive the second of two surgeries needed to correct the problem.
Last year, the boy had to have a surgery to implant a nerve from his leg into his face. Then he had to wait a year for the nerve to acclimate before this surgery, which will add a muscle to the nerve so his face can move.
Despite the challenges in speaking and appearance, the boy is quite popular at school according to his mother. When he smiles, only one side of his face curls upward. The mother says it will take some time for her to get used to seeing both sides of his face move since he’s lived with the condition all of his life.
What Can Cause Bell’s Palsy During Birth?
Bell’s palsy and other types of newborn facial paralysis usually result from either delivery trauma or a problem that occurred during fetal development. According to a 2015 article published in the World Journal of Clinical Cases, trauma just before, during, or immediately after delivery is the most common cause of facial paralysis in newborns.
Delivery Trauma and Bell’s Palsy
During a difficult delivery, the doctor may need to take certain steps to help the baby move down the birth canal. This may include using techniques to turn the baby if their shoulder gets stuck or using a vacuum extraction device to pull the baby out.
When used carefully, at the correct time, and using the correct technique, these procedures are relatively safe. However, when the doctor acts carelessly or without regard to the safety of their patients, injuries can result.
The improper use of forceps can cause Bell’s palsy during birth. Their use to deliver the baby significantly increases the risk of Bell’s palsy and other facial paralysis, while injuries to the nerves in the neck and shoulder occur because of tugging too hard or at an awkward angle.
Risk Factors for Birth Injuries and Bell’s Palsy
When a doctor monitors a pregnancy and labor, they should look for risk factors that the delivery could be difficult. If there are several of these risk factors in place, then they may want to consider other options for delivery. Even a Caesarean section (C-section) can cause Bell’s palsy during birth. Doctors must carefully weigh this against other, more serious risks to decide what is best for their patients.
Other risk factors your doctor should have monitored include:
- If it is your first child (primiparity)
- If the infant’s birth weight will be greater than 3,500 grams, or around eight pounds
- If the use of forceps may be necessary
- If the infant is premature
- If there is a need for a cesarean delivery
Other Possible Causes of Congenital Bell’s Palsy
While birth trauma is more common, other factors can cause Bell’s palsy during birth. Some of these conditions may be apparent before birth, diagnosed during prenatal checks of the developing baby. They include:
- Möbius syndrome
- Goldenhar syndrome
- Arnold-Chiari syndrome
Prognosis of Newborns Diagnosed With Bell’s Palsy
In most cases of perinatal Bell’s Palsy, the infant recovers fully within a few months. Overall, the prognosis for most children is very good. However, some children never regain the full functionality of their seventh cranial nerve, leaving them with symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Therapy and surgery may help in some cases, but it is important to get treatment as soon as possible if your infant is not recovering in the first few months after birth.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
In some cases, a Bell’s palsy diagnosis may support a birth injury lawsuit. If your child suffered a preventable delivery trauma and now has symptoms of Bell’s Palsy, you may be eligible to file a claim against the doctor or hospital. You can pursue compensation for your child’s medical care and any related losses and expenses, as well as pain and suffering damages.
You should talk to an attorney who handles birth injury cases in your state and is familiar with how the state laws apply to this type of case. Most birth injury attorneys will review your case for free, and you will pay nothing out of pocket. They only collect legal fees after recovering a payout for your family.
In addition, it is important to talk to a local attorney because each state has its own statute of limitations and deadlines that apply in birth injury cases. Only a lawyer who works in your state will know how long you have to take legal action.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney Near You About Your Case
If your child was born with Bell’s palsy or another type of facial paralysis caused by nerve damage during birth, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and hold the doctor or hospital accountable. You could collect compensation on your child’s behalf.
Reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today and take the first step. You will be able to discuss your case with one of the team members and will be helped with finding a lawyer in your state. This attorney will take on your case and represent your child’s best interests throughout the process.
Call today at (800) 222-9529 to talk to a member of the team about your options.
How Long Does Bell’s Palsy Last?
How long Bell’s palsy lasts is dependent on your specific child. Usually, though, the temporary paralysis of facial muscles lasts between 3 and 6 months. Symptoms may include a droopy face, crooked smile, the inability to keep one eye open, dry eye, and pain behind the ear, headache, loss of taste, and difficulty eating.
In most cases, Bell’s palsy is easily diagnosable based on the symptoms, though your doctor may perform tests such as a CAT scan or MRI to confirm. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there is no single test to diagnose Bell’s palsy.
Treatment for Bell’s palsy may vary, based on the severity of the symptoms and the possible cause of the condition. For example, some cases of Bell’s palsy are very mild and may subside on their own in a few days, while other cases may be caused by an infection and require medication.
Other treatments for Bell’s palsy might include physical therapy or, in very rare cases, cosmetic surgery. Decompression surgery, which relieves the pressure on the nerve causing the drooping, is generally not recommended.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
The cause of Bell’s palsy is not entirely understood; however, the condition may be related to exposure to certain viruses, including herpes or flu, the use of forceps during delivery, or other trauma to the face, neck, or head.
If you believe your infant suffers from Bell’s palsy due to a birth injury, your family may pursue compensation through a birth injury claim. This compensation can help you cover the cost of medical care, lost wages, and other losses associated with your child’s Bell’s palsy.
Pursuing a birth injury claim can be complex. It is recommended that you seek the guidance of a birth injury lawyer in your state who can review your child’s medical records, calculate the losses your family has incurred, and work towards a fair resolution.
The team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help your family find a lawyer to assist with your birth injury case. Call our team today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
Damages Your Family May Recover in a Bell’s Palsy Birth Injury Claim
Bell’s palsy can result in medical bills and, occasionally, a permanent drooping of the face. When this condition occurs, as a result, a medical error, your family may be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses.
The amount of compensation available to your family will vary based on several factors, including the cost of medical treatment, the cause of the condition, and whether the symptoms are permanent. Depending on the details of your claim, your lawyer may pursue the following types of damages.
The treatment for Bell’s palsy can range from a few weeks of medication to cosmetic surgery, in rare cases. Your family may recover compensation for all medical care resulting from Bell’s palsy. This may include hospital bills, medication, therapy, surgery, and more.
Loss of Parental Income
If you miss time at work due to your child’s injury, your lawyer may pursue compensation to recover your lost wages. This may cover the work time missed to attend doctor’s appointments, treatment, and caring for your child after surgery.
Pain and Suffering Losses
Mayo Clinic reports that Bell’s palsy can cause headaches, pain in the ear, eye, and neck area, difficulty eating, and a host of other symptoms. Your family may seek compensation for the pain and suffering your child endured as a result of the medical mistake.
To determine the amount of compensation your family may recover, your birth injury lawyer will need to review the details of your claim, including how long Bell’s Palsy lasts in your child. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help. Call today for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529.
Find a Birth Injury Lawyer in Your State
A birth injury can have a traumatic impact on your family for years to come. The team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will sit down and review your infant’s medical records, speak to medical professionals, and calculate the full range of your losses.
A dedicated birth injury lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to pursuing a birth injury claim. You want a dedicated and compassionate lawyer who understands the long-term implications of your child’s injury and knows the laws in your state.
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to explore your legal options.
What Treatment Options Are Available To Newborns With Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a medical condition caused by inflammation of a facial nerve that can cause temporary or permanent facial paralysis. Treatment options are available to newborns with Bell’s palsy and specific types of treatment will depend on the cause of the inflammation. Steroids, anti-viral medication, eye drops or ointments, physical therapy, massage, or, in rare instances, cosmetic surgery can be utilized.
While the causes of Bell’s palsy are not entirely understood, several factors are believed to contribute to the condition. These may include trauma to the face or neck and exposure to certain viruses including the herpes virus. Individuals with diabetes or a recent upper respiratory infection may have a higher risk of suffering from Bell’s palsy.
In most cases, Bell’s palsy is a mild condition that subsides after a few weeks. In rare situations, the condition may cause more severe complications, including permanent paralysis of the facial muscles, involuntary contraction of facial muscles, or partial or complete blindness in one eye.
Filing Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your newborn suffered from Bell’s palsy, the doctor should be able to diagnosis and treat the condition quickly. Failure to do so could result in life-long complications. In addition, some infants may suffer from Bell’s palsy due to a birth injury.
Depending on the details of your case, your family may be eligible to pursue compensation through a birth injury lawsuit. If your newborn did not receive adequate treatment or if you believe medical malpractice caused your child’s Bell’s palsy, a birth injury lawyer can help your family pursue compensation.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is committed to helping families suffering from Bell’s palsy seek the compensation they deserve. Call for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Assist You with Your Lawsuit
When your child sustains a birth injury, it can be traumatic for your family. You may not know what impact this condition will have on your child’s life. In addition, you may be facing medical bills you should not have to pay.
A birth injury lawyer can help your family seek the compensation you deserve, and possibly protect another family from the same situation. Your birth injury lawyer can help in the following ways:
- Gather medical reports and other evidence to support your lawsuit
- Speak with medical professionals to better understand the long-term impact on your child’s life
- Calculate the full amount of your family’s losses
- Build a case to seek compensation based on evidence
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement
- Represent your family’s interests in a court of law
- Fight for your family’s right to a fair settlement
A birth injury can turn the otherwise joyous occasion of a child’s birth into a nightmare. You want a birth injury team that understands the challenges your family is facing and is committed to fighting for your rights. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to discuss your potential birth injury lawsuit.
Damages Your Family May Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
In many cases, Bell’s palsy is a relatively minor condition that subsides after a few weeks. However, that is not always the case. Johns Hopkins reports that it can take 3 to 6 months for facial muscles to return to normal, in some cases. Treatment options are available to newborns with Bell’s palsy, and your infant may need to utilize some form of it—no matter how severe or mild their symptoms are.
You may recover the cost of medical care your infant required, in addition to other losses, such as:
- Medical or accessibility devices in the case of permanent disability, such as blindness
- Lost wages, if parents or caregivers are forced to miss time at work due to treatments
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain the child was forced to endure
- Loss of quality of life, if the victim suffers from long-term symptoms as a result of Bell’s palsy
Keep in mind that the details of your unique case can impact the final amount your family is eligible to recover. Your lawyer can review the details of your child’s injury and provide more information about the damages you might recover.
Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
Preparing for the birth of a child is an exciting time for families. You deserve to seek compensation when that experience is marred by the mistakes of a health care professional. Your child’s suffering should not be taken lightly.
Your birth injury lawyer will be there to walk you through the legal process and hold the medical professionals liable for their mistakes. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to speak to a member of the team.