If your anal sphincter injury was not diagnosed following childbirth, and this has caused you to suffer problems, you will be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.
Is an anal sphincter injury negligent?
It has been well known for some time that anal sphincter injury is common following vaginal delivery, particularly in women having their first vaginal delivery. Other risk factors include an assisted delivery, shoulder dystocia and a larger than average baby.
Therefore just because an anal sphincter injury has occurred does not mean there is a case of medical negligence. Such injuries cannot be prevented and so medical practitioners cannot be blamed. It is simply an unfortunate but natural risk of childbirth.
The exception to this would be if the actions of medical practitioners contributed towards the occurrence of an anal sphincter injury.
For example, if a midwife/doctor performs a midline episiotomy and this causes a third or fourth degree tear, there may be grounds for a claim. This is because midline episiotomies are no longer acceptable practice in the UK as they are known to increase the risk of serious tears.
Is a failure to diagnose an anal sphincter injury negligent?
If a woman does sustain an anal sphincter injury while giving birth, it is essential that it is diagnosed and repaired shortly afterwards. As long as it is repaired competently, a woman stands a good chance of making a full recovery.
But if the injury is not repaired, the patient will go on to suffer complications such as faecal urgency and incontinence. Even if the injury is diagnosed at a later date, the delay in treatment will make a recovery less likely. A woman may therefore be left with long-term problems, and these may further deteriorate with the onset of the menopause.
If an anal sphincter injury is not diagnosed and repaired shortly after the birth, the standard of care will have fallen below an acceptable level. If this causes a woman to develop complications, there will be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.
A failure to diagnose an anal sphincter injury will amount to medical negligence. If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim. This would enable you to obtain compensation for the damages you have wrongfully incurred, including your physical, emotional and financial injuries.
To claim compensation for an anal sphincter injury, please get in touch with us today.