How serious is facial nerve palsy for a newborn?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2021 | Birth Injury |

Soon after your new baby’s birth, you may have noticed some droopiness in his or her face. While a pediatrician should make any diagnosis, your newborn son or daughter may have congenital facial nerve palsy. 

Facial nerve palsy often resolves itself with little or no medical intervention. Still, in some cases, the condition leads to serious and potentially life-long consequences. Consequently, if your baby has facial nerve palsy, you may need to pursue immediate specialist care. 

What causes congenital facial nerve palsy?

Congenital facial nerve palsy, which occurs at the time of birth, causes the loss of muscular control in an infant’s face. The condition is typically due to trauma to the baby’s seventh cranial nerve during delivery. 

The following factors may increase a newborn’s chances of developing facial nerve palsy: 

  • The use of epidural anesthesia during childbirth 
  • The use of medication to induce labor or intensify contractions 
  • An extended labor or pregnancy 
  • An abnormally large-sized infant 

How do doctors treat facial nerve palsy?

If your newborn’s facial nerve palsy does not go away on its own, a physician may recommend surgery to repair damaged nerves. A surgical procedure may improve facial appearance and symmetry. It may also correct difficulties with palsy-related eye or mouth closure. 

What complications may stem for facial nerve palsy?

When doctors cannot treat facial nerve policy, it often leads to many problems for the newborn. Your child may permanently have trouble nursing, closing his or her eyes or the mouth, speaking or even making basic facial expressions. 

Ultimately, because the complications of facial nerve palsy may require expensive treatments, rehabilitation and other therapies, it may be critical to pursue financial compensation from the physician who contributed to your newborn’s facial nerve palsy. 

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