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Birth Injury Case Studies

Over £130,000 For Wrongly Diagnosed 3rd Degree Tear

Lacey was told that she had sustained a second degree tear after giving birth to her first child. She suffered intense pain in the months after the delivery and developed both urinary and faecal incontinence. This eventually led to her being diagnosed with a 3rd degree tear, the complications of which she is still living with.

In September 2009, Lacey gave birth to a healthy boy. Forceps had been used during the delivery, and she was told she consequently sustained a second degree tear. The doctor then sewed her up.

Shortly after the birth she passed a lot of blood. Nurses did not reassure her as to why this happened, nor did they check on her during the following two days she remained in hospital. The only medical help she received was being given antibiotics for a severe urinary tract infection.

After leaving hospital Lacey was briefly examined by midwives every other day for about 10 days. She reported intense pain around her vagina and bottom, along with faecal and urinary incontinence, but each said it was to be expected. It was only when Lacey took her son to the GP surgery for a six week check-up that she underwent a proper examination.

The GP immediately referred her to a consultant, but she was in so much pain that she could not undergo a thorough examination. The consultant believed there was a thin wall between the vagina and rectum that needed investigation. Lacey was referred on to a colorectal surgeon.

By this stage Lacey was experiencing frequent urinary and faecal incontinence. She explained this to the colorectal surgeon, but again she was in so much pain that she could not be examined. It would therefore have to be done under general anaesthetic.

The appointment was finally set for June 2010. She was found to have a third degree tear, rather than a second degree tear, although she was not advised of this for another six months when she underwent further tests. Lacey was eventually diagnosed with a large defect in the external anal sphincter and had a surgical repair three months later. This has improved her symptoms slightly, but she still suffers from faecal urgency.

Due to her on-going problems, Lacey has been unable to return to work full-time.

The consequences of her injury could have been significantly minimised, or even avoided, had the third degree tear been diagnosed and repaired after the delivery.

We helped Lacey make a claim for the negligent care she received and she was awarded in excess of £130,000 compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed).

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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."

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