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Compensation Claims and the Misdiagnosis of Anal Damage in Childbirth

Compensation Claims and the Misdiagnosis of Anal Damage in Childbirth

Anal damage occurring in vaginal childbirth requires precise and accurate diagnosis. Without this, a new mother may suffer permanent bowel incontinence and the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as negligent.

Appropriate diagnosis of anal damage

The guidelines of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend that all women who have undergone vaginal childbirth should receive a thorough examination of the perineum after the birth.

This should include a digital rectal examination which should carefully assess the condition of the external and internal anal sphincter muscles which control the bowel.

The result of this examination should be an accurate diagnosis, identifying any damage and classifying that damage meticulously.

If the new mother has suffered damage to her anal sphincter, this needs to be classified as either a 3a, 3b, 3c or 4th degree tear.

The importance of this process is difficult to over-state. Without diagnosis, the woman will not go to theatre for a surgical anal repair. Her anal muscles and control of her bowel movements will be compromised. She may even need a stoma to be fitted to provide bowel function.

Medical negligence

  • If a thorough examination is not carried out and severe anal damage is missed, the relevant medical professional may be regarded as having provided negligent care
  • If an examination is carried out but the diagnosis is incorrect, the medical professional may be regarded as having provided substandard care

If damage to the anal sphincter or anal canal is missed following a vaginal birth, the new mother will start to experience distressing and possibly debilitating bowel problems. This may involve extreme urgency when needing to go to the toilet or uncontrolled leakage of wind and faeces. It may also include infections of the perineum. Occasionally, a woman may even experience leakage from the vagina if a fistula, or hole, has developed between the anus and the vagina.

Understandably, symptoms such as these can seriously affect and restrict a woman's quality of life. She may feel unable to leave the home and she may find it difficult to work.

A claim for compensation can help to address these problems and acknowledge the severity of what has occurred.

Speak to a solicitor

Compensation claims for medical negligence are extremely complex. If you or a loved one are struggling with the impact of negligent anal damage following childbirth, contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist in medical negligence law. One of our team will be very happy to discuss the quality of your care and the suitability of making a claim.

Contact us today to talk to a specialist solicitor about the possibility of making a claim for compensation.

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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