Lower Motor Neuron Facial palsy

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

All referrals should comply to the referral standards and include:

  • Weakness or paralysis of movement of all (or some) of the face
  • Description of weakness or paralysis of movement of all (or some) of the face
  • No sparing of forehead muscle weakness
  • Associated features such as otalgia, otorrhoea, vesicles, parotid mass or tympanic membrane abnormality,
  • History of preceding viral illness such as Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the ENT clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Bell's palsy is idiopathic facial palsy and therefore a diagnosis of exclusion:

  • If sparing of forehead muscles, consider stroke or other central causes
  • Steroid therapy may be initiated if no associated findings
  • Consider anti-viral treatment if associated with vesicles
  • Protection of the eye from a corneal abrasion is paramount. Apply Lacrilube and tape the eye shut at night

Direct link to Health Pathways - Bell's Palsy page

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Emergency

Contact ENT OPD

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED – Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent:

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine:

Next available appointment