The birth of a child is one of life’s most remarkable events. However, happiness can quickly turn to despair if your child suffers a birth injury or facial paralysis because of the negligent actions of a doctor or a member of their medical staff.
Facial paralysis can involve permanent disfigurement caused by a medical professional’s unjustifiable errors. If your child suffered facial paralysis or another permanent disability from a birth injury, consult the Maryland facial paralysis injury attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. Call us at (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Common Facial Paralysis and Facial Palsy Issues Caused by Birth Injuries
The “seventh cranial nerve” is also known as the “facial nerve.” During birth, this nerve can become compressed or injured, resulting in facial paralysis or facial palsy. In most instances, the facial paralysis will go away naturally. However, sometimes the affected muscles can become permanently paralyzed, potentially leading to partial blindness or requiring years of physical therapy and occupational therapy. Even if the condition is not permanent, the injured child will require constant monitoring, medical care, and possibly even surgery to relieve symptoms.
Causes of Facial Paralysis from Birth Injuries
The actual cause of facial paralysis is sometimes unknown. A congenital genetic condition or an infection passed to the newborn can sometimes cause facial palsy. However, many times these injuries are caused by a doctor’s negligence during the child’s birth.
A high-risk pregnancy can lead to birth injuries or facial paralysis. Some physical conditions increase the risk of a difficult pregnancy, such as an unusually large baby or a mother’s very small pelvis. Additionally, the mother’s current health conditions or past medical history can be a warning sign of a dangerous delivery, while infections or previous traumatic pregnancies can also endanger the baby.
A doctor’s failure to detect and assess potential risks or effectively communicate with the mother can lead to facial paralysis or other serious birth injuries. If your child suffered a birth injury or suffers from facial paralysis, contact a Maryland facial paralysis attorney to determine if it was caused by medical malpractice.
Symptoms of Facial Paralysis Birth Injuries
Facial paralysis may not be readily noticeable after birth. If the paralysis is not severe, some signs of facial paralysis might be indistinguishable from the normal movements of a newborn infant. Because the condition might not cause discomfort, a baby might not cry or appear hurt.
Weakness around the lips or the mouth is a good indication of facial palsy. Additionally, difficulty closing both eyelids, a one-sided smile, excessive drooling, extremely dry eyes, or excessive tearing may suggest your child has a facial palsy. If any of these symptoms present themselves, your child should undergo diagnostic testing. Contact a Maryland facial paralysis lawyer to help determine if your child’s birth injury was the result of medical malpractice.
Suing for Medical Malpractice from Childbirth and Facial Paralysis in Maryland
For a doctor or medical professional’s conduct to be considered medical malpractice, the conduct must be negligent. Negligence occurs when a doctor fails to meet the standard of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional of similar training would have followed in similar circumstances. The standard of care may vary depending on several factors, such as the actual occupation of the medical professional (physician, nurse, technician, etc.), the health of the patient, and the medical condition being treated.
Additionally, a medical professional’s negligent conduct must have directly caused the birth injury. Negligent conduct can consist of actions or inaction by a doctor or their medical staff. For example, failing to gauge the complications of a difficult birth or not recommending a C-section can directly lead to birth trauma. Also, the improper use of forceps could compress or injure the cranial nerve. Additionally, medication mistakes involving labor-inducing drugs can also cause facial paralysis or other adverse complications.
If your doctor was negligent, made mistakes in using medical equipment like forceps or vacuum extractors, or failed to properly monitor you and your child after delivery, they may be liable for any damages directly related to the birth injuries.
Errors in medical decisions and techniques are also not limited to those committed by a doctor. Hospital staff and technicians such as anesthesiologists and ultrasound technicians can make serious mistakes that also endanger you and your child. If their negligent conduct led to facial paralysis or another birth injury, they might also be held liable.
Finally, your child’s facial paralysis injuries must have caused actual damages to allow to you sue. Damages can be economic or noneconomic. Economic damages include any additional medical costs and expenses, hospitalization, additional surgeries, diagnostic tests, medical equipment, and medication. Moreover, permanent injuries and disabilities can require years of costly physical therapy or rehabilitation, which would constitute economic damages. Noneconomic damages often include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and emotional distress.
Call Our Maryland Lawyer for Malpractice from Facial Paralysis Injuries During Childbirth
Facial paralysis can permanently affect your child, requiring years of expensive physical therapy. If your child suffered a birth injury and facial paralysis, contact our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys. The diligent attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras fight for your rights and seek to get compensation for facial paralysis birth injury cases. Call (410) 964-7291 today to schedule a free case consultation.