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Permanent Colostomy Due to 4th Degree Tear Misdiagnosis

Permanent Colostomy Due to 4th Degree Tear Misdiagnosis

A permanent colostomy changes the way the bowel functions and can fundamentally change the way an individual feels and the way they live. If this life-changing occurrence is due to poor medical care of a vaginal birth, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Fourth degree birth tears

A fourth degree tear is the most severe form of tear which can occur during vaginal childbirth. It extends from the vagina across the perineum through both the external and internal anal sphincter and into the anal canal.

Damage to the anal sphincter can cause a woman to lose control of her bowel function, leading to the uncontrolled passing of wind and faeces.

If a fourth degree tear is not diagnosed and repaired shortly after the birth, the new mother may develop a rectovaginal fistula, an abnormal passage between the anus and the vagina, which allows wind and faeces to leak from the vagina. A colostomy may be seen as a solution to the woman's bowel problems.

Assessment for perineal and anal trauma

Severe birth tears are a particular risk in the following circumstances:

  • Where the woman is carrying a larger than average baby
  • Where it is the woman's first vaginal birth
  • Where the woman has received instrumental (ventouse or forceps) assistance with the birth of her child
  • Where the second stage of labour is prolonged
  • Where the woman is of Asian ethnicity

Meticulous examination of a new mother following a vaginal birth is essential in order to ensure that any perineal or anal trauma is both diagnosed and repaired. Where the above circumstances apply, it is particularly important to be certain that a severe birth tear has not occurred.

A failure to examine, a failure to diagnose and a failure to repair may all be regarded as substandard care.

Negligence and compensation

If poor-quality medical care causes long-term, debilitating problems, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

The creation of a colostomy may result in a woman being unable to access some forms of employment. It may impact on her daily life in a variety of ways.

A successful compensation claim can provide recompense for the financial losses caused by the substandard medical care.

Legal advice

If you are suffering long-term bowel problems due to a failure to diagnose and repair a severe birth tear, contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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