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Compensation for Lifelong Consequences of an OASI

Compensation for Lifelong Consequences of an OASI

Suffering permanent and debilitating bowel symptoms unnecessarily after childbirth can cause a lifetime of anxiety and may justify a claim for compensation.

What is an OASI?

An OASI is an anal sphincter injury that occurs during vaginal childbirth. The anal sphincter is the external and internal muscles which control the passing of wind and faeces. An OASI can damage one or both of these muscles.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists estimate that, if an anal sphincter birth injury is diagnosed and repaired at the time of the birth, the new mother should be symptom-free within approximately twelve months.

But what if it isn't repaired?

What if it isn't even diagnosed?

Severe birth tears, damaging the bowel muscles, occur to around 5% of new mothers. Initially the woman may assume that her symptoms, appalling though they may be, are typical after giving birth. Then the embarrassment associated with her anal injury may prevent her from talking to anybody about it, let alone seeking help.

The impact of an OASI

Unfortunately a delay in diagnosis of a severe birth tear and an attempt to provide a surgical solution may be less successful as time goes on, leaving the unfortunate woman to face a lifetime of shocking and distressing bowel symptoms.

These can include the following:

  • Pain and infections of the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus
  • Faecal urgency and incontinence
  • Wind incontinence
  • Discomfort when sitting
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Leakage of wind and faeces from the vagina

Medical negligence

Severe birth tears require a thorough assessment of the new mother after the birth and, if this does not take place, it is possible that her injury is missed. Some midwives are not sufficiently familiar with the nature of anal sphincter injuries and may misdiagnose the injury.

If the new mother does not receive an accurate diagnosis of her injury, the relevant medical practitioners may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

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