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Hospital Negligence Birth Tears

Hospital Negligence Birth Tears

Medical practitioners have a duty of care to their patients. Where mothers giving birth are concerned, this involves, among many other things, checking to see if they have suffered any injury to the area around the vagina, perineum and anus during childbirth.

Perineal birth injuries

The majority of women who give birth vaginally tend to suffer an injury of some sort in the process. A small minority of women suffer a severe injury to the perineum during childbirth.

It is the duty of medical professionals, therefore, to check very carefully to see if the woman has suffered an injury and, if so, ensure that it is accurately diagnosed and competently repaired.

Perineal tears

Perineal tears are injuries which start around the vagina and can extend across the perineum between the vagina and the anus, damaging the skin and muscle. If a woman is extremely unfortunate, her injury may also damage her anal sphincter. These are the muscles which control the bowel and a failure to treat such an injury competently can leave the woman with severe bowel problems.

When a woman has given birth vaginally, it is important that the following procedures take place:

  • An examination of the perineum for signs of damage
  • A digital, rectal examination to check for damage to the anus
  • Classification as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree tears. If a 3rd degree tear has occurred it is additionally necessary for the type of 3rd degree tear to be clarified as a 3c tear causes significantly more damage than a 3a tear.
  • A full and skilled repair by an experienced surgeon, ensuring that the appropriate techniques and materials are used.

A failure to carry out these procedures may be regarded as a poor standard of care but they do not necessarily justify a claim for compensation unless the woman suffers significant, long-term problems as a consequence.

Medical negligence

If a woman has suffered a severe (3rd or 4th degree) tear which has either been misdiagnosed or poorly repaired, it is likely that she will develop serious problems controlling her bowel. This may cause symptoms such as an inability to prevent the passing of wind and faeces.

Surgery at a later date may not resolve the problem and the woman may be left with these symptoms for the rest of her life.

In this situation, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation, not only for the woman's pain and suffering but for the on-going physical and financial losses she will experience.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are suffering the appalling on-going effects of a failure to treat a severe perineal tear, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We have supported numerous women in making claims for this unhappy situation and will be happy to advise you.

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."

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