A Nationwide Birth Injury Resource

Facial Paralysis and Bell's Palsy

Bell's palsy is an injury that causes paralysis or weakness in the face, which sometimes occurs as a result of birth injury. Most cases of Bell's palsy are not permanent, but some can cause serious and permanent damage, including loss of sight.

Understanding Bell's palsy

Research indicates that the nerve damage that causes Bell's palsy may be linked to infections that are passed from the mother's body to the baby. Medical professionals have a responsibility to take precautions, which may include surgical delivery or use of medications, to minimize the risk of an infection harming the baby.

Some symptoms of Bell's palsy include:

  • Excessive tear production
  • Dry eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to sound
  • Drooling
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • One-sided smile

While mild cases of Bell's palsy may go away in time, severe cases can cause significant complications. For example, some babies may have permanent weakness and nerve damage in the face. It's also possible for Bell's palsy to cause permanent damage to the eye on the affected side of the face, potentially resulting in impaired vision or even blindness in the affected eye.

Medical professionals have a responsibility to watch out for risk factors, minimize the risk of complications and properly treat symptoms of Bell's palsy when they occur. If something went wrong in your child's care, contact us to discuss your options with an attorney licensed in your state.