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Is It Negligent Not To Carry Out a Digital Rectal Examination after Childbirth?

Is It Negligent Not To Carry Out a Digital Rectal Examination after Childbirth?

Long-term bowel problems following childbirth can be devastating. If these symptoms are due to a failure by medical professionals to carry out a thorough post-natal examination, contact Glynns to discuss the possibility of making a compensation claim.

Digital, rectal examinations

A digital, rectal examination is where a qualified, medical professional assesses the condition of the anus by inserting a gloved finger into the anus. It is considered necessary following a vaginal birth in order to check if the new mother has suffered damage to the anal muscles and lining during the birth.

A digital rectal examination is recommended in the guidelines of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists regarding the management of severe birth tears. It is also incorporated into the recommendations which form the OASI Care Bundle, intended to improve the care of the mother's perineal and anal muscles during vaginal childbirth.

Substandard care following vaginal childbirth

A failure to carry out a digital, rectal examination of a new mother following vaginal childbirth may be regarded as substandard care.

The new mother may subsequently suffer severe bowel problems because she has suffered anal damage which has not been diagnosed or repaired. In these circumstances, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

If the anal damage caused by a severe birth tear is not repaired skilfully and effectively shortly after the birth has taken place, the new mother may suffer permanent symptoms. These can include the following:

  • Extreme urgency when needing to go to the toilet
  • Incontinence of wind
  • Incontinence of faeces
  • Leakage of faeces from the vagina
  • Perineal infections

The severity of these symptoms can cause a woman to become socially isolated and significantly affect her capacity to work and earn an income.

If these on-going symptoms are the result of medical negligence, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation for the pain, suffering and the financial losses caused by the effects of the negligence.

Claiming compensation

If you are struggling with the long-term debilitating and distressing effects of a severe birth tear due to poor care after the birth of your baby, contact Glynns to discuss the possibility of making a compensation claim.

We have supported numerous women in making claims relating to the care of 3rd and 4th degree tears and will be very happy to help you.

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

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