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Compensation for Bowel Problems after Instrumental Birth

Compensation for Bowel Problems after Instrumental Birth

An instrumental delivery can increase the chance that a woman will suffer a severe perineal tear. If your birth tear is due to mismanagement of this process, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Instrumental deliveries

An instrumental delivery with the use of either a ventouse or forceps can increase the likelihood that the new mother will suffer a severe birth tear. If this injury is accurately diagnosed and effectively repaired, the woman may make a full recovery. If not, she may suffer a lifetime of unpleasant and debilitating bowel problems.

If an instrumental delivery is thought to be necessary, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' new OASI Care Bundle recommend that the relevant medical professional should also consider the need for a medio-lateral episiotomy prior to the instrumental delivery. An episiotomy is a deliberate cut to the woman's perineum which should reduce the chance that an instrumental delivery will cause a severe perineal tear.

If an episiotomy is not carried out, or an inappropriate form of episiotomy is used, and the woman subsequently suffers a severe tear, the medical practitioners attending the birth may be regarded as having been negligent in their care of the new mother. If the woman suffers long-term symptoms as a result, a compensation claim may be an appropriate way forward.

Post-natal examination

In light of the fact that an instrumental delivery increases the chance of a woman suffering a third or fourth degree birth tear, it is essential that she undergoes a very thorough examination following the birth of her baby. This should include a digital, rectal examination specifically to assess any anal damage.

If such an examination is not carried out and the woman has, indeed, suffered severe damage to her anal sphincter, it is possible that no repair will be carried out.

Symptoms of a severe perineal tear

In these circumstances, she may experience the following symptoms:

  • Inability to prevent the passing of wind
  • Inability to prevent the passing of faeces
  • Perineal infections
  • If a fistula has developed, she may experience leakage of wind and faeces from the vagina

The impact of these permanent symptoms on a woman's life and self-confidence can be significant.

If a failure of diagnosis and repair leaves the new mother with severe long-term symptoms, it may be appropriate to pursue a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are suffering the appalling symptoms of an undiagnosed and unrepaired severe birth tear due to medical negligence, contact Glynns to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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

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