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New Jersey Bell’s Palsy Lawyers
During a difficult delivery, it may be necessary for the medical practitioner to use forceps to help the birth. When used correctly, forceps can be a very useful tool. When used incorrectly, injuries can occur to the infant. Misuse of forceps is a form of medical malpractice.
The most common injury caused by forceps misuse is Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s Palsy is a type of palsy that affects the facial nerves. When the nerves have been injured, facial muscles will not work as they should. If the nerve damage is severe or if the nerves have been severed, facial paralysis may occur.
The facial paralysis may not be permanent, and it may not affect the entire face. The paralysis may affect any area of the face, including eye muscles. Bell’s Palsy may inhibit sight if the baby is unable to open or shut their eye.
Depending on the severity of the facial paralysis, the baby will have to undergo physical therapy and possibly corrective surgeries. There may be lasting and noticeable issues with their facial muscles as they grow.
We understand how overwhelming this is for the new parents to discover that their baby has been injured during birth. Our compassionate attorneys are here to help. If your infant was injured during the birth process, we encourage you to speak with New Jersey Bells Palsy lawyers about the injury.
What Are The Signs of Bell’s Palsy In a Newborn?
When Bell’s Palsy occurs in a newborn, it is most common for it to affect the muscles in the lower part of the face. Usually, the areas surrounding the mouth and chin. Obvious signs of Bell’s Palsy include:
- Drooping on one side of the mouth
- Lips do not move the same on both sides when crying
- Trouble nursing or getting suction from a bottle
If the palsy is more severe, there may be paralysis on one side of the face. The muscles may not move correctly anywhere from the chin to the forehead. The baby may have difficulty with opening or shutting one eye. In extreme cases of nerve damage, the eye on the affected side may lose sight.
Treatments for Bell’s Palsy
In mild cases of Bell’s Palsy, the baby can undergo some physical therapy, and the paralysis will go away over time. Physical therapy, speech therapy, and continual monitoring of the affected eye will be necessary for more severe cases.
For severe cases of Bell’s Palsy, the treatment would include all of the above treatments, and some corrective surgeries may need to take place. Surgeries to relieve pressure on the affected nerves and some corrective surgeries may be necessary.
Birth Trauma is Preventable
Birth traumas are preventable. Careful monitoring of the pregnancy before and during birth is necessary for safe delivery. If medical professionals are required to use delivery assistance equipment such as forceps, they should only be used under the medical community’s strict guidelines.
Incorrect use of forceps is the leading cause of Bell’s Palsy in infants. Improper placement of the forceps or too much pressure being placed on the baby with the forceps is the main cause of the infant’s injury. Improper use of forceps is medical malpractice.
Sadly, many times, it is later discovered that the use of forceps was not even necessary. Some medical practitioners use these devices to “speed along” the birth or fail to perform a necessary c-section, so they now have to resort to this instrument to allow the birth to occur.
Whatever the reason that the forceps were used, the fact remains that they were used incorrectly, and your baby was harmed. As New Jersey Bells Palsy lawyers, we have seen how these actions can cause so much suffering for the baby and parents alike. We are here to help.
If your baby was injured due to actions taken during delivery, you are encouraged to speak with an attorney. You have the right to seek compensation for your baby to ensure that all of their medical needs are met.