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Medical Negligence
Compensation for a Fourth Degree Tear

Compensation for a Fourth Degree Tear

A fourth degree tear must be diagnosed soon after the birth and repaired by an experienced surgeon. If there is a failure to achieve this standard of care, there will be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.

Fourth degree tears

A fourth degree tear is the most serious type of perineal tear that can be sustained during childbirth. It involves a tear that extends from the vaginal opening, down through the perineum and into the external and internal anal sphincters.

A fourth degree tear is an unfortunate but accepted risk of childbirth. If a women does sustain such a tear while giving birth, the injury should be diagnosed shortly afterwards during an examination. This can be carried out by a midwife or a doctor.

Once diagnosed, a repair should be performed in theatre by an experienced surgeon. As long as an acceptable repair is conducted shortly after the delivery, a reasonable standard of care will have been provided and a patient stands a good chance of making a full recovery.

Fourth degree tear and medical negligence

If a fourth degree tear does occur but it is not diagnosed and treated appropriately, the standard of care will have fallen below an acceptable standard. If this causes a patient to suffer harm - be it physical, emotional or financial injury - there will be a case of medical negligence.

It is very likely that an unrepaired tear will cause a patient to suffer harm as she will be left with a defect in the perineum and anal sphincters. This will usually result in the onset of symptoms, including faecal urgency, the inability to defer defecation and faecal leakage/incontinence.

Often these symptoms lead to emotional trauma, with depression, anxiety and a reluctance to resume sexual relations all common in women with unrepaired fourth degree tears.

As the victim of medical negligence, a woman with a missed fourth degree tear will be legally entitled to pursue a claim for compensation, providing the opportunity to obtain compensation for the damage that has been wrongfully incurred.

Can I claim for a fourth degree tear?

If you have suffered a fourth degree tear during childbirth but the injury has only recently been diagnosed, you could be in a position to claim compensation. To find out for certain, you need to speak to a medical negligence solicitor about the care you received and the injuries you have sustained.

To speak to a solicitor about a fourth degree tear, please get in touch with us today.

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