Our Service For You

Birth Injury Articles
Undetected Anal Tear After Shoulder Dystocia Birth

Undetected Anal Tear After Shoulder Dystocia Birth

Giving birth to a baby who experiences shoulder dystocia during the delivery is associated with an increased risk of the mother suffering a severe birth tear.

Shoulder dystocia and birth tears

A severe birth tear is one which damages the anal sphincter and, in some cases, the lining of the anal canal. They are referred to as 3rd or 4th degree tears or OASI.

The term shoulder dystocia refers to the circumstances where a baby's shoulder becomes caught behind the mother's pubic bone and additional measures may be required to help the baby to be born safely.

The increased risk of a severe birth tear prompted by this situation should ensure that the mother of the baby is thoroughly examined after the birth. It is absolutely crucial that any damage to the anal sphincter muscles or anal canal is identified so that surgery can be carried out to perform a repair a s soon as possible.

Caring for maternal birth injuries

A delay in diagnosis or repair may leave the new mother with on-going bowel symptoms such as urgency and leakage of both wind and faeces.

The guidelines of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, as well as their latest OASI Care Bundle, recommend that all women who have given birth through the vagina should receive a digital rectal examination to assess the condition of the anal sphincter.

These vital muscles control the passing of wind and faeces and a loss of function can be devastating for the new mother.

  • A failure to examine a woman may be regarded as negligent.
  • A failure to correctly diagnose any perineal or anal damage may be regarded as substandard care
  • A failure to carry out a repair of a 3rd or 4th degree tear may be regarded as negligent
  • A substandard repair, leaving the new mother with on-going symptoms may be regarded as negligent.

If the new mother suffers long-term bowel problems, impacting on her quality of life and ability to work, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Specialist legal advice

If you are struggling with the impact of severe bowel problems due to poor-quality medical care, contact Glynns Solicitors.

We are specialists in medical negligence compensation claims and have extensive experience of birth tear negligence claims.

Call us today to talk to one of our team of expert lawyers about your situation and the suitability of making a claim for compensation.

Contact us today to talk to a specialist solicitor about the possibility of making a claim for compensation.

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

Free enquiry

Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"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."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?


Our Expertise

clinical negligence panel


Free Birth Injury Guide

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us