A 3rd degree tear can become infected. This must treated, or the sutures could breakdown. It is therefore very important that you look out for the signs of infection and seek medical help if you suspect anything is wrong.
Signs of 3rd degree tear infection
A 3rd degree tear is a significant wound that involves the anal sphincter complex. Because of the involvement of the anus, it is not difficult for a 3rd degree tear to become infected, as the wound can readily come into contact with faeces.
To prevent a 3rd degree tear from becoming infected, a patient should be given antibiotics before being discharged from hospital. She should also be given hygiene advice, detailing how to keep the wound clean and promote healing.
Nevertheless, a 3rd degree tear can still become infected. The signs that a 3rd degree tear has become infected include:
- Soreness around the wound
- A foul odour coming from the wound
- Tissue that is red and hot to touch
- Smelly or unusual discharge
- The breakdown of the stitches
What to do if you think you have an infection
If you are suffering symptoms similar to those above and you have recently sustained a 3rd degree tear, you must seek immediate medical help – either from your Community Midwife or your GP.
The medical practitioner will probably want to inspect the wound to check for signs of infection. If there is indeed an infection present, antibiotics should be prescribed.
Failure to treat a 3rd degree tear infection
If medical professionals fail to treat an infected 3rd degree tear and this causes the patient to suffer harm – for example, the wound breaks down – the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable.
The care may also be considered substandard if a patient was not given antibiotics before leaving hospital, despite having sustained a 3rd degree tear.
When a substandard level of medical care causes a patient to experience wrongful injury, there will be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.
Can you claim for an infected 3rd degree tear?
If your 3rd degree tear became infected but the problem was not properly managed by medical practitioners, you need to talk to a solicitor about your options. You could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.
To find out if you are eligible to make a medical negligence compensation claim, please get in touch with us today.