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Negligent Perineal Tear in Vaginal Childbirth

Negligent Perineal Tear in Vaginal Childbirth

Giving birth to your baby should be a positive experience. It should not leave you with a lifetime of incontinence, embarrassment and pain.

Vaginal birth and perineal trauma

All women giving birth vaginally are at risk of suffering injury to the anal sphincter and first-time mothers are at a higher risk. It is estimated that around 6% of women giving birth for the first time will suffer a severe perineal tear. The percentage is slightly lower for those who have given birth before.

The anal sphincter is the muscles, both external and internal, which control the function of the bowel. Damage to the anal sphincter can cause loss of bowel control.

It is imperative, therefore, that women who have given birth through the birth canal receive a thorough examination of the perineum for any signs of a third or fourth degree tear. This should ensure that any damage is clearly and accurately identified and that the woman undergoes a surgical repair as soon as possible.

Third and fourth degree tears are the most severe form of birth tear, extending from the vagina, across the perineum and tearing the anal sphincter to some degree.

Medical negligence and perineal trauma

If medical professionals fail to make a careful check for any damage, meaning that the new mother leaves hospital without an adequate repair, the medical practitioners present at the birth may be considered to have acted negligently.

If the functioning of the anal sphincter muscles which control the bowel is weakened, the woman may experience a range of distressing and debilitating symptoms:

  • Extreme urgency when needing the toilet
  • Loss of ability to control the passing of wind (wind incontinence)
  • Loss of ability to prevent the passing of faeces (faecal incontinence)
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Infections of the perineum

Making a compensation claim

If a woman suffers such unpleasant symptoms, it can have a devastating impact on her quality of life, her income and her self-confidence.

If the on-going symptoms are due to poor medical management of her birth tear, such as a failure to diagnose or a poor quality repair, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

In the first instance, it is necessary to get the support of a specialist solicitor who can help you through the claims procedure.

Here at Glynns, we have supported many women in making highly-successful compensation claims for the long-term impact of third and fourth degree tears due to poor medical care.

Contact us today to discuss your situation free of charge with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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

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