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What are OASI Compensation Claims?

What are OASI Compensation Claims?

What is an OASI and when does it justify a claim for compensation for medical negligence?


An OASI is an obstetric anal sphincter injury. Plainly speaking, what this means is a tear suffered by a woman during vaginal childbirth which starts at her vagina and travels across the perineum to also damage the muscles around and inside her anus.

OASI are classified as either 3rd or 4th degree tears. Third degree tears cause injury to the external anal sphincter (muscles) and possibly the internal anal sphincter. Fourth degree tears additionally damage the lining of the anal canal inside the bowel.

Treating OASI

If they remain untreated, OASI can cause extremely unpleasant, long-term symptoms. The main problems inevitably concern the functioning of the bowel and damage to the anus can mean that the woman can no longer control when she passes wind or faeces. At best, she will probably find that she has very little time to reach a toilet when she feels the need to defecate.

Ideally, the injury needs to be diagnosed shortly after the birth and repaired by a skilled surgeon.

Compensation claims

Compensation claims sometimes arise from OASIs when the medical professionals who were at the birth fail to notice that the new mother has suffered a severe tear during the birth.

This is a problem because, if the injury is not repaired shortly after it occurs, any later surgery may not be as successful as it would have been at the time the injury occurred. It may not be possible to undertake surgery at a later date, the repair may breakdown or the injury may deteriorate, causing a fistula (or passage) between the woman's bowel and her vagina. The woman may even need a colostomy on a temporary basis if her bowel can no longer function effectively.

If the medical professionals are considered to have been responsible for the fact that the woman's injury was not diagnosed and, therefore, not repaired, a compensation claim might be an appropriate course of action.

A successful claim can compensate that woman for her pain and suffering and help her to recover the financial losses she has incurred or is likely to incur if she can no longer work or needs support in her daily life.

It is worth bearing in mind that the injury is not, in itself, necessarily due to negligence. If it is diagnosed and repaired shortly after the birth, the new mother will probably make a good recovery and there is no justification for a compensation claim.

Taking the first step

The first step in making a compensation claim is to get specialist advice.

Contact us if you are suffering with the appalling long-term symptoms of a mismanaged severe perineal tear. You will be able to speak with a specialist medical negligence solicitor who has expertise in dealing with compensation claims of this nature.

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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