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I Didn't Know I Had a Birth Tear

I Didn't Know I Had a Birth Tear

Have you only just been told that you had a 3rd or 4th degree tear, even though you gave birth weeks, months or even years ago?

A 3rd or 4th degree tear must be diagnosed and repaired almost immediately after the delivery. A failure to provide this standard of care will amount to medical negligence.

As the victim of medical negligence, you will be legally entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim for compensation. For more information, contact us for a free initial enquiry.

Why has my tear only just been diagnosed?

As mentioned above, a perineal tear must be identified shortly after the birth and a repair conducted. If a first or second degree tear is present, a midwife can repair the injury in the delivery suite. But a more severe injury, meaning a third or fourth degree tear, must be repaired in theatre by a surgeon.

If your tear was not diagnosed in hospital, there are two possible explanations:

  • 1. A thorough examination was not carried out, including a digital rectal examination, meaning the tear was missed.
  • 2. An examination was carried out, but the clinician still missed the injury.

There is a potential third explanation, which is that your tear was 'under-diagnosed'. This means that you were diagnosed with a first or second degree tear, but you actually had a third or fourth degree tear that was missed. This will be problematic because only part of the tear will be repaired, leaving a gap in the anal sphincter.

Is it negligent to miss a tear?

These explanations are not excusable. A 3rd or 4th degree tear must be diagnosed and repaired before a patient is discharged from hospital. It is not acceptable for a serious perineal injury to be missed.

A missed tear amounts to a breach of duty, which means medical practitioners have not provided a reasonable standard of care. If this has caused you to experience problems such as faecal urgency and incontinence, there will be a case of medical negligence.

The basis of your claim will be that had your tear been diagnosed and repaired at the time of injury, you would have made a complete recovery and would have avoided suffering any symptoms. These symptoms often include faecal urgency, incontinence and the inability to control wind.

I've just been told I had a 3rd degree tear

If you have only just discovered that you had a 3rd degree tear that was missed, please get in touch with us to discuss making a compensation claim.

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."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?


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