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Third Degree Tear Compensation for Misdiagnosis

Third Degree Tear Compensation for Misdiagnosis

If your third degree tear was misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Obstetric injuries

A failure by medical professionals to diagnose and repair a third or fourth degree tear can have very serious consequences.

A new mother who should be recovering from the birth and wanting to bond with and care for her new baby may find that, instead, she is starting to suffer shocking problems with her bowel which may not resolve.

Some women suffer serious damage to the anus during vaginal childbirth. This is known as an obstetric anal sphincter injury and is classified as a third or further degree tear depending on the extent and nature of the damage suffered.

Effects of anal sphincter injuries

Such an injury should be repaired as promptly as possible. If this does not happen the woman may start to suffer leakage of wind and faeces from the bowel. In some circumstances, a fistula or abnormal passage may develop between the bowel and the vagina, allowing wind and faeces to escape from the vagina. This is extremely distressing and can cause the woman significant embarrassment and practical problems.

She may also suffer discomfort, especially during sexual intercourse, and infections of the perineum.

It may be that surgery is attempted at a later date to resolve the bowel problems experienced by the woman but this rarely seems to solve the problem completely. Many women continue to suffer distressing debilitating urgency and leakage, making working and socialising extremely difficult.

In some circumstances, the woman may require a colostomy on a temporary or permanent basis to carry out the normal functions of the bowel.

Failure to diagnose

A woman in this situation may be justified in making a claim for compensation.

A severe perineal tear should be assessed and diagnosed shortly after the birth of the baby. However, we have found that sometimes the woman does not receive a thorough examination and so does not receive an accurate diagnosis. At other times, it would seem that medical expertise is lacking and, although an injury is identified, the severity of that injury and the need for surgery are not recognised.

Medical negligence

Where severe, long-term symptoms are clearly due to the failure of medical professionals to diagnose the woman's injury and effect a thorough repair, it may be appropriate to make a compensation claim.

Contact us to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor with expertise in perineal tear compensation claims.

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

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