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4th Degree Tear Incontinence Claim

4th Degree Tear Incontinence Claim

If you are having problems with your bowel because of a 4th degree tear during the birth of your baby, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Suffering a 4th degree tear

It is not necessarily a sign of medical negligence if you suffered a 4th degree tear during childbirth. Around 5% of women giving birth through the vagina suffer an injury which affects the bowel. This is especially likely if it was your first vaginal birth or if the baby was heavy or if you required forceps assistance.

If your tear was diagnosed accurately and you received a skilled and comprehensive repair, it is likely that you will recover from your symptoms.

However, if your 4th degree tear was either misdiagnosed or poorly repaired, you may not recover from your distressing symptoms and you may wish to consider making a claim for compensation.

Effects of a 4th degree tear

A 4th degree tear damages both the internal and external anal sphincter. These are the muscles which control the bowel and enable you to prevent the accidental passing of both wind and faeces. If these muscles cease to function, you may experience extreme urgency when needing the toilet or you may have no control at all. A 4th degree tear additionally damages the lining of your anal canal.

If a 4th degree tear is not successfully repaired, there is a chance that the wound will break down further and a fistula or passage can form between the bowel and the vagina, allowing wind and faeces to leak from the vagina, an extremely distressing outcome.

Diagnosis and repair

If you suffered a birth tear, it should have been diagnosed at the time. There are clear guidelines, issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as to the need for a thorough examination of new mothers after the birth. This should include a digital, rectal examination in order to ensure that no internal anal damage is missed.

There is also a clear classification of the differing degree of birth tears and precise accuracy of diagnosis is crucial in ensuring that the new mother receives a full repair.

If your 4th degree tear was not diagnosed at the time and you consequently were not repaired, you are likely to be suffering with pretty awful symptoms. If this is the case, you may want to consider talking to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

It is possible that your 4th degree tear was accurately diagnosed but that your repair was substandard. This may seem surprising but we have had clients for whom this was the case.

Speak to a solicitor

Contact us at Glynns Solicitors if you are suffering the appalling symptoms of a severe birth tear. We have supported numerous women in making successful compensation claims and would be very happy to advise you.

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

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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