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Compensation for Medical Mismanagement of Perineal Tear

Compensation for Medical Mismanagement of Perineal Tear

Substandard medical care of a severe perineal tear during vaginal childbirth may leave a woman with permanent bowel symptoms.

Managing severe birth tears

There has been some evidence that the occurrence of severe birth tears has increased over recent years. In response, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists created a Care Bundle, in conjunction with the Royal College of Midwives, to try to minimise the risk of this devastating injury. This highlights the importance of scrupulous care of the perineum and anus in women who have given birth through the vagina. A failure by medical professionals to diagnose and repair any severe damage may be regarded as substandard care and may justify a claim for compensation.

The RCOG guidelines state that all women who have given birth through the vagina should undergo an examination of the perineum following the birth, including a digital rectal examination. The purpose of this is to ensure that any damage to the anal muscles, caused during the birth of the baby is accurately diagnosed and promptly repaired.

Severe birth tear symptoms

A failure to carry out a digital rectal examination may leave the new mother with an undiagnosed 3rd or 4th degree tear. This will damage the function of her bowel and may leave her with an array of distressing and debilitating symptoms.

3rd and 4th degree tears cause damage to the muscles which control the bowel and, in the case of 4th degree tears, also damage the lining of the anal canal. A new mother with a severe birth tear can find that she suffers the following symptoms:

  • Inability to control the passing of wind
  • Inability to control the passing of faeces
  • Perineal discomfort
  • Perineal infections
  • Leakage through the vagina if a rectovaginal fistula develops

Claiming compensation

If poor medical management of a severe birth tear has left you with debilitating on-going symptoms, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation. If, for example, you are now restricted in the type or amount of work you are able to do, a successful claim can compensate you for your lost income.

Speak to a solicitor

Glynns Solicitors is a specialist medical negligence legal practice. All our lawyers are specialists in this complex field of law with expertise in a wide range of medical issues.

Contact us today to speak with an experienced solicitor about the suitability 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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