Facial Paralysis Injuries

Facial paralysis injuries in newborns are unusual and can result in many problems for the infant, including trouble with nursing and only partial eye closure. If there is no improvement, the paralysis could have an impact on the child’s speech in the future, statements of emotion, and chewing. Congenital facial paralysis is described as traumatic or developmental, and an extensive physical examination is necessary to rule out the possibility of other congenital malformations.

Congenital facial paralysis can be unilateral, which means that one side of the face is affected, or bilateral, in which both sides of the face are affected. Unilateral facial paralysis can be relevant to such conditions as hemifacial macrosomia, which is marked by a lack of development on one side of the face. As a result of this condition, the affected side can have less facial motion.

The condition represents 8 to 14 percent of all instances of facial paralysis in children. In live births, facial paralysis occurs in 0.8 to 2.1 for every 1,000 births and, of these, 88 percent are connected with a challenging labor. Among patients experiencing birth trauma, 67 to 91 percent are associated with the use of forceps during delivery.