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Can I Sue the Hospital if My Birth Tear was Misdiagnosed?

Can I Sue the Hospital if My Birth Tear was Misdiagnosed?

A misdiagnosis of a birth tear can be absolutely devastating to the life of the new mother and may justify a claim for compensation.

Severe perineal tears

Many women suffer a tear to the vagina or perineum during vaginal birth. The vast majority of these are small and the women affected make a full recovery promptly. For a few, highly-unfortunate women, however, the consequences are far more severe and far-reaching.

Perineal or birth tears are classified according to the physical extent of the tear and the associated symptoms are likely to increase in line with the severity of the tear. 1st and 2nd degree tears cause less significant damage whereas 3rd and 4th degree tears cause severe damage to the woman's anal muscles and require skilled assessment and repair.

Misdiagnosis of perineal trauma

A misdiagnosis of a severe perineal tear may justify a compensation claim if it has had a significant long-term impact on the woman affected. If a misdiagnosis has made little long-term difference to the woman's outcome, it is unlikely that there would be justification for a claim.

A misdiagnosis of a severe tear may well make a significant difference. If a woman with a 4th degree tear is diagnosed as having a 3rd degree tear, part of her injury may not be repaired. Likewise, if a 3rd degree tear is misdiagnosed as a 2nd degree tear, the resulting symptoms can be shocking. If the woman's injury is not repaired or is incompletely repaired due to a misdiagnosed, she may suffer bowel incontinence on an on-going basis and find it difficult to work and socialise.

Third and fourth degree tears damage the anus and affect a woman's ability to control the passing of wind and faeces. A failure of medical care which results in this outcome may be regarded as substandard care and warrant a compensation claim.

Diagnosis of birth tears requires a thorough examination including a digital rectal examination. If this does not take place, a 3rd or 4th degree tear may be missed. If this failure to diagnose accurately results in long-term symptoms, it may be appropriate to pursue a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

Here at Glynns we have supported many women in making highly-successful compensation claims for the long-term impact of poor perineal tear care.

If you are suffering the on-going effects of such negligence, contact us to talk to neo of our specialist medical negligence solicitors.

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

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