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Making a Claim for an Anal Sphincter Injury

Making a Claim for an Anal Sphincter Injury

An anal sphincter injury during vaginal childbirth occurs in about 5% of cases. It is not necessarily a sign of medical negligence. However, it requires efficient and competent care, and a failure to provide this, may be regarded as substandard care.

Anal sphincter injuries

Anal sphincter injuries during childbirth cause damage to the external muscles which control the bowel. The internal muscle and the lining of the anal canal may also be damaged.

Such an appalling and severe injury is most likely to occur in the following circumstances:

  • When the woman is giving birth through the vagina for the first time
  • When the new mother is carrying a large baby
  • When the woman is of Asian ethnicity
  • When the birth has required instrumental assistance such as with forceps or a ventouse
  • When the baby's shoulder has become stuck behind the pubic bone, described as shoulder dystocia

Poor-quality medical care

Women who have given birth through the vagina require close examination following the birth, especially if they come from one of the categories above. Where a woman is at particular risk of a severe tear, a failure to diagnose her injury may be regarded as poor-quality medical care.

Severe birth tears cause significant damage. 3rd degree tears, according to their extent, can damage only the external anal muscle or both external and internal muscles. This is in addition to tearing the skin and muscles of the area between the vagina and the anus, called the perineum. 4th degree muscles also damage the internal lining of the anal canal.

Without a diagnosis, there is no mechanism to instigate a repair. Without a skilled repair, the new mother may suffer incontinence of both wind and faeces for the rest of her life.

The emotional, physical and financial impact of such an appalling outcome can be devastating, depriving the woman of her confidence and restricting her ability to work.

Seek legal advice

If you are suffering from an unrepaired severe birth tear due to poor quality medical care, you need the advice of a specialist who can guide you through the complex process of making a claim for medical negligence.

Glynns Solicitors is an expert medical negligence legal practice with extensive knowledge and experience in birth tear compensation claims.

Contact us today to talk to a specialist solicitor about the suitability of making a claim for compensation.

Contact us today to speak to one of our team.

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

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