If you suffered a third degree tear during the birth of your baby, it should have been diagnosed at the time and repaired. If you received no examination and have been left with symptoms, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Impact of a 3rd degree tear
A 3rd degree tear during a vaginal birth can cause significant damage to your anal muscles and result in the loss of control of when you pass wind and faeces. This can, understandably, have a dramatic impact on your ability to work, especially in occupations which require interaction with the general public. It can also affect your ability to travel, to socialise and to bring up your baby as you might have wished.
It can make any trip outside of your home feel like a major expedition requiring prior planning of bowel movements and access to toilet facilities.
It can affect your personal relationships and have a detrimental impact on your confidence and general mental well-being.
Diagnosing third degree tears
All of this can usually be avoided if the medical professionals attending the birth are well-trained and diligent.
A third degree tear must be accurately and fully assessed and diagnosed. There are three different categories of third degree tear and a misdiagnosis – or no diagnosis at all – may lead to an inadequate repair and debilitating long-term symptoms.
Whereas a 3a tear only injures less than 50% of your external sphincter, a 3c tear will additionally affect the internal sphincter. Whilst both injuries can cause significant symptoms, it is vital that the precise type of tear is identified in order to bring about repair and recovery. With an inaccurate diagnosis, recovery is much less likely.
As well as a visual assessment of your perineal region, you should undergo a digital rectal examination in order to assess whether any damage has occurred to your anal sphincter muscles and anal canal. This involves the insertion of a gloved finger into your anus.
Misdiagnosing third degree tears
A failure to carry out such an examination of a failure to make an accurate diagnosis subsequent to an examination may be considered to have been negligent.
If you are then left with long-term symptoms which significantly restrict the way in which you are able to conduct your life, you may wish to consider making a claim for compensation.
Speak to a solicitor
We have advised and supported numerous women who have suffered due to a failure to diagnose their perineal damage accurately. If this sounds familiar to you, contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.
Make A Free Enquiry
If you, or your family member, has suffered a birth injury tear, please call us now for free, no obligation advice on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile click to call 01275 334030) or complete our Free Online Enquiry.