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3rd Degree Tear Poor Care Claims

3rd Degree Tear Poor Care Claims

Women at risk of a severe birth tear during vaginal childbirth should receive scrupulous care and support. Guidance to try to prevent anal damage during childbirth and accurate assessment of any trauma are vital in ensuring the best long-term outcome for the new mother.

Preventing severe perineal trauma

Women who are at a heightened risk of suffering a 3rd or 4th degree tear during childbirth include the following groups:

  • Those who are giving birth vaginally for the first time
  • Those who are carrying a larger than average baby
  • Those who require instrumental assistance during the birth of their baby, such as forceps
  • Those who are of Asian ethnicity

According to the guidelines of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, steps to try to prevent the occurrence of severe birth tears include informing the pregnant woman of the risks of severe perineal trauma, advising her of strategies to minimise her risk, such as her choice of birth position, and the use of manual protection of the perineum during the actual birth.

Where the new mother requires forceps or ventouse assistance in giving birth to her baby, it is recommended that a medio-lateral episiotomy is carried out before the instruments are introduced.

Managing severe perineal trauma

If a woman is unfortunate enough to suffer a severe 3rd or 4th degree tear, it is essential that it is correctly diagnosed.

  • 1) The woman should undergo a thorough perineal examination, including a digital rectal examination
  • 2) Any perineal damage should be precisely and accurately diagnosed according to the RCOG classification of perineal trauma
  • 3) A full, appropriate and effective repair should be undertaken, by an experienced surgeon in the case of 3rd or 4th degree tears

Medical negligence

A failure to provide the correct support to a new mother during and after vaginal birth may mean that her perineal and anal damage persists for the rest of her life.

If she has suffered a 3rd or 4th degree tear which has not received an effective repair, she may face a lifetime of wind and faecal incontinence.

Being unable to control her bowel may cause a range of distressing and debilitating effects, impacting on her self-confidence, her quality of life and her ability to work.

Claiming compensation

If you are struggling with the appalling on-going impact of a 3rd or 4th degree birth tear due to poor-quality medical care, you will need specialist legal advice.

Contact Glynns, experts in medical negligence compensation claims, to speak with an experienced solicitor.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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