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Third Degree Tear Management

Third Degree Tear Management

A 3rd degree tear must be managed according to the hospital's guidelines, which in turn will be guided by NICE guidelines.

If a 3rd degree tear is mismanaged by medical practitioners, there could be a case of medical negligence.

To find out more about claiming compensation for medical negligence, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors. We specialise in medical compensation claims.

Medical management of 3rd degree tear

Steps should be taken in an attempt to avoid a 3rd degree tear, such as only performing medio-lateral episiotomies and proceeding to an emergency C-section if the labour is not progressing.

However, 3rd degree tears cannot be entirely prevented and around 9% of women in the UK will sustain a severe tear when giving birth vaginally.

When a 3rd degree tear does happen, it should be managed in the following way:

  • 1. Diagnose the tear during an examination shortly after the birth, which should include a rectal examination
  • 2. Record the correct type of 3rd degree tear 3a, 3b or 3c
  • 3. Arrange an urgent surgical repair, to be conducted by an experienced surgeon in theatre
  • 4. Suture the entire length of the tear with dissolvable stitches
  • 5. Perform another examination, with a rectal examination, to ensure the full length of the tear has been stitched
  • 6. Provide the patient with medication to slow down bowel movements
  • 7. Check the wound before the patient leaves hospital
  • 8. Prescribe antibiotics and stool-softeners before the patient leaves hospital
  • 9. Check the wound during visits from the Community Midwife
  • 10. Arrange a six-week check-up and any further care as necessary, such as physiotherapy

Mismanaged 3rd degree tear

If the standard of care as described above is not achieved, a 3rd degree tear may have been mismanaged by medical practitioners. If the patient has suffered harm as a result, there could be grounds for a compensation claim.

Most commonly, claims arise because of a failure to:

  • Diagnose a 3rd degree tear
  • Diagnose the correct type of 3rd degree tear
  • Suture the entire length of the tear
  • Check the tear has been repaired by performing a rectal examination
  • Detect complications during post-natal check-ups

Has this happened to you?

Has this happened to you? Was your 3rd degree tear left undiagnosed or poorly repaired? If so you could be the victim of medical negligence. This could entitle you to pursue a claim for compensation. Please get in touch with us to find out if your 3rd degree tear was mismanaged.

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

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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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