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How common are facial nerve injuries in infants?

It’s hard to imagine a baby going through serious surgeries or treatments because of errors made while they were in the womb or during the birthing process. Sadly, however, many children are injured and do end up having serious birth injuries.

Of the injuries that can occur, one of the most common is damage to the infant’s facial nerve. In fact, this is the most common cranial-nerve injury during traumatic births.

This injury happens in approximately 10 out of 1,000 live births. Most commonly, it occurs because of pressure from forceps or from poor positioning during delivery.

How will you know if your child has facial nerve injuries?

In babies with facial nerve injuries, you’ll notice that the baby has a loss of motion or movement on one side of the face. If your medical provider used forceps and your child is having some motion loss on one or both sides of the face, then there is a potential that the facial nerve or nerves were injured.

The good news is that most children who suffer this injury do see it resolve naturally within just a few weeks. However, in some severe cases, it may go on to affect the child well into the future, if not permanently.

What should you do if your medical provider made mistakes that led to your child’s nerve injuries?

If your child suffers nerve injuries during the birthing process because of the use of forceps, you may have a case. Forceps are still used today, but they must be used in very specific circumstances. You may want to look into your rights if your child has been injured as a result of using this tool.