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Perineal Tear Negligence

Perineal Tear Negligence

If you have suffered a severe perineal tear during the birth of your baby, you require prompt, accurate and competent attention. If a failure by medical professionals to treat your injury appropriately has left you with severe long-term symptoms, you may wish to make a claim for compensation.

Perineal tears occur during vaginal childbirth and vary both in extent and severity. It is crucial that any damage is accurately diagnosed at the time of the birth by the attending medical professionals. This is vital in order to identify those women who have suffered severe damage such as a third or fourth degree tear.

Accurate diagnosis is fundamental to ensuring that the woman receives a full and effective repair, without which she may be left suffering a lifetime of bowel incontinence.


Perineal tears have been classified by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in order to try to improve management of these shocking and debilitating injuries.

First and second degree tears damaging only the skin and muscle of the perineum are unlikely to cause long-term problems and can be repaired, if necessary on the maternity ward.

More severe tears, however, require a skilled and prompt repair in an operating theatre by an experienced surgeon to try to ensure a full recovery and no lasting symptoms.

Third degree tears

Third degree tears extend from the vagina, across the perineum and damage the anal sphincter muscles which control the bowel.

A 3a or 3b tear will only damage the external anal sphincter, whereas a 3c tear will additionally cause damage to the internal sphincter. These are all very serious injuries and require the attention of a specialist.

A failure to diagnose and repair these injuries effectively may be considered as substandard care and the long-term impact may justify a compensation claim.

4th degree tears

A fourth degree tear causes more damage than even a 3c tear. In addition to the damage of third degree tears, a 4th degree tear damages the internal anal mucosa, or lining.

Diagnosis of these tears requires a skilled and thorough examination of the woman after she has given birth and a failure to undertake this procedure can leave the woman with an undiagnosed and unrepaired injury.

Medical negligence

Substandard diagnosis and treatment of severe perineal tears can have life-changing effects, making it difficult for the woman affected to work and bring up her children.

If you are struggling with the effects of a severe perineal tear due to poor medical management, contact Glynns to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about making a compensation claim.

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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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