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Claiming Compensation for Perineal Tears

Claiming Compensation for Perineal Tears

Perineal tears, or injuries to the mother caused during a vaginal birth, vary considerably in the degree of damage they cause. A perineal tear is not necessarily a sign of negligence and it is only occasionally appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Perineal tears

The vast majority of women suffer a tear of some degree when they give birth via the vagina. For many of these, their injury will be small and fairly superficial. They may be stitched by the midwife in the maternity ward or they may need no repair at all. It is likely that they will make a full recovery promptly.

In these circumstances, it is unlikely to be appropriate to make a compensation claim as the woman is not suffering any long-term symptoms, her tear was probably not the result of negligence and her care would probably not considered to have been substandard.

It is only appropriate to make a claim for compensation where the level of care has clearly been poor and where the woman has suffered significantly as a result. Where medical professionals can be seen to have been negligent in their care but the woman has not suffered particularly as a result, a compensation claim is unlikely to be successful.

Severe anal injuries

Sometimes, however, the care of a woman who has just given birth is clearly substandard. The examination of her perineum following the birth may be inadequate and the fact that she has suffered a severe tear is not diagnosed, meaning that she does not receive an appropriate repair.

Severe anal sphincter injuries, also known as third or fourth degree tears, cause damage to the anal sphincter muscles which control the bowel. Failing to diagnose and repair such injuries means that the woman is very likely to develop debilitating and embarrassing bowel problems. These can include the following:

  • Extreme urgency when needing to go to the toilet
  • Loss of ability to control the passing of wind
  • Loss of ability to control the passing of faeces

Injuries of this nature can seriously restrict a woman's life in terms of work, socialising, confidence and bringing up her children.

Even if surgery is attempted at a later date, it is sometimes not successful due to the delay and the woman continues to suffer these dreadful symptoms.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are suffering on-going bowel problems because medical professionals failed to diagnose and treat your third or fourth degree tear, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

We will be happy to advise as to the suitability of making a claim for compensation for your suffering and financial losses.

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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