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If I Have Bowel Problems after Childbirth, was the NHS Negligent?

If I Have Bowel Problems after Childbirth, was the NHS Negligent?

If you are experiencing problems with wind and the passing of faeces after the birth of your child, it is possible that you have a 3rd or 4th degree tear which has not been diagnosed.

Third and fourth degree tears

Recent estimates suggest that up to 10% of women giving birth vaginally suffer a severe tear which can affect their control of their bowel. These injuries are classified as third and fourth degree tears and they occur as the arrival of the baby puts pressure on the woman's perineum to stretch.

Third and fourth degree tears are regarded as serious injuries in terms of the amount of damage they inflict, the severity of the symptoms they cause and the need for a skilled surgeon to carry out a repair.

Third and fourth degree tears can cause bowel problems, such as loss of control or extreme urgency, because they damage the anal sphincter, the muscles which control the bowel. If the anal sphincter is damaged, the woman can start to pass wind and faeces without meaning to.

Clearly, these are serious problems with the potential for significant, long-term consequences. Many of our clients have found it impossible to return to work after the birth of their baby due to their inability to control their bowel. Furthermore, the find travelling and leaving the home extremely difficult due to the fear of bowel accidents.

Medical Management of birth tears

The successful medical management of severe birth tears is crucial to the long-term physical and psychological health of the woman affected. Guidelines exist to try to ensure that the diagnosis and repair of such injuries is carried out promptly and effectively. However, data suggests that the number of tears may be increasing.

Women who have given birth vaginally should undergo a thorough examination after the birth of their baby to ensure that they have not suffered any perineal damage. They should receive a digital, rectal examination to ensure that the anal sphincter remains intact.

If any anal damage is detected, it should be carefully and accurately diagnosed. This should ensure that a full and accurate surgical repair is organised by a skilled surgeon.

If such a process does not take place and the woman is left with long-term symptoms, the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as having provided substandard care. It may, in these circumstances, be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are continuing to suffer distressing bowel problems following the birth of your baby due to a failure to diagnose and repair a severe tear, contact Glynns Solicitors today.

We have supported numerous women in making highly-successful compensation claims for such injuries and will be very happy to advise oyu.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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