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I Have A 4th Degree Tear - Can I Get Compensation?

I Have A 4th Degree Tear - Can I Get Compensation?

A 4th degree tear during vaginal childbirth can cause shocking symptoms. Is it a sign of medical negligence?

Severe birth tears

A 4th degree tear is not necessarily negligent and may not justify a claim for compensation. Some women naturally suffer a 4th degree birth tear during vaginal childbirth. It may be their first vaginal birth or they may have undergone an instrumental birth, rendering them more susceptible to a perineal tear.

If a severe birth tear is diagnosed and repaired, it is unlikely that the relevant medical professionals will be regarded as negligent.

If a severe birth tear is not diagnosed at the time of the birth, however, the new mother may be left with extremely unpleasant symptoms and the relevant medical professionals who were attendant at the birth of her baby may be regarded as having provided poor-quality care.

What are 4th degree tears?

Fourth degree tears cause damage from the vagina, across the perineum between the vagina and the anus, through both the external and internal anal sphincter muscles and into the lining of the anal canal. They can also cause a fistula or abnormal hole to develop between the rectum and the anus.

They are the most severe form of perineal tear and are likely to cause the most debilitating symptoms such as bowel incontinence.

In accordance with the guidelines of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 4th degree tears should be diagnosed at the time of the baby's birth through a digital, rectal examination. They should then be competently and fully repaired in an operating theatre by a skilled and experienced medical practitioner.

This process should give the new mother the best chance of a good recovery and prevent an accusation of medical negligence being made.

If a severe birth tear is not diagnosed at the time, however, the new mother may start to suffer symptoms of faecal leakage or urgency soon after the birth of her baby. If these are recognised as the symptoms of possible anal sphincter damage, a repair may take place promptly.

If symptoms are not recognised and assessed, they may become permanent.

Speak to a solicitor

If you think you may have been the victim of significant medical negligence during the birth of your baby, contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist solicitor.

If you are suffering financial difficulties as a result of medical negligence, it may be appropriate to make 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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