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3rd Degree Tear Infection

3rd Degree Tear Infection

If a 3rd degree tear becomes infected, it must be diagnosed and treated with antibiotics quickly. This will prevent the wound from breaking down something which can cause long-term complications.

3rd degree tear infection

A 3rd degree tear is a perineal injury suffered during vaginal delivery. It involves the perineal muscles and anal sphincter muscles.

Any wounds are susceptible to infection, although a 3rd degree tear is particularly vulnerable because of the proximity to the anus. There is a lot of bacteria in faeces, so the wound can easily become infected after the passing of a stool.

When a 3rd degree tear becomes infected, it will be very painful. It will also smell fetid, and will be more inflamed and tender than is usual for a 3rd degree tear. The wound may even ooze fluid.

If you have any suspicion that your 3rd degree tear is infected, you must immediately tell your GP or Community Midwife. Antibiotics should be prescribed without delay.

Preventing 3rd degree tear infection

Because a 3rd degree tear is at risk of infection, a patient should be given antibiotics before leaving hospital. She should also be advised upon good hygiene and wound care, as this will ensure the injury is kept clean and free of bacteria.

However, sometimes an infection will arise in any event, perhaps because the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics prescribed. When this happens, further medical treatment is needed.

3rd degree tear infection not prevented or treated

If a 3rd degree tear is diagnosed, properly repaired and antibiotics prescribed, the medical practitioners involved will have given an acceptable standard of care. If an infection subsequently occurs but the problem is soon diagnosed and treated, there has been an acceptable standard of care.

But unfortunately there are times when an acceptable standard of care is not achieved. For instance, medical practitioners may fail to:

  • Prescribe antibiotics after repairing a 3rd degree tear
  • Diagnose an infected 3rd degree tear
  • Treat an infected 3rd degree tear

There are also times when the 3rd degree tear itself is not diagnosed and repaired, leaving the injury open to infection.

Claiming compensation for your injuries

If you have been affected by any of the medical mistakes described above, you might want to consider speaking to a solicitor. This is because you have been the victim of substandard medical care. This could entitle you to claim compensation for the injuries you have wrongfully sustained.

For more information, please get in touch with our legal team today.

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