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Forceps-Associated Palsy Usually Mild, Temporary

Most neonates with facial nerve palsy caused by forceps fully recover within a month

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- In neonates, facial nerve palsy caused by forceps use is usually mild and resolves without treatment, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Melanie Duval, M.D., of Montreal Children's Hospital in Montreal, and colleagues conducted a retrospective medical chart review of 28 cases of facial nerve palsy resulting from the use of forceps.

The researchers found that the reported severity was generally mild to moderate, with an average House-Brackman grade of II-III. Only one of the neonates received treatment, and full recovery was observed after an average of 24 days in the 21 neonates for whom long-term follow-up was available.

"This confirms that corticosteroid treatment or surgery should be withheld in neonates presenting with uncomplicated facial nerve palsy resulting from forceps trauma," the authors conclude.

One co-author is a speaker for and has a clinical trial contract with Alcon Research Inc.

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