If your 3b tear was missed and you have developed complications as a result, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. For more information, please get in touch with us today and talk to one of our medical negligence solicitors.
A 3b tear is a type of third degree tear. Any woman giving birth vaginally is at risk of suffering a perineal tear, ranging from a 1st degree tear to a 4th degree tear, with a 4th degree tear being the most severe.
Unlike 1st, 2nd and 4th degree tears, medical practitioners have subdivided 3rd degree tears into three different categories. These denote how deep the perineal tear goes. A third degree tear is the disruption of the anal sphincter muscles, which should be further subdivided into:
- 3a: less than 50% thickness of external sphincter torn
- 3b: more than 50% thickness of external sphincter torn
- 3c: internal sphincter also torn
Recovering from a 3b tear
Therefore a 3b tear is a serious injury, although it is not as severe as a 3c tear. Nevertheless, it must be diagnosed and treated or a defect in the external anal sphincter will remain.
As long as a 3b tear is identified and an adequate repair carried out, the patient stands a good chance of making a full recovery. Care will need to be taken after the birth to keep the wound clean. It is also important to protect the stitches. For this reason a patient will normally be given stool-softening medication to ease defecation and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Bad outcome from missed 3b tear
However, if a 3b tear is missed and therefore left unrepaired, a patient can expect to develop complications. Ordinarily this will relate to sphincter dysfunction, with faecal urgency, leakage and possibly even incontinence.
It is unacceptable for any sort of 3rd degree tear to be missed. A reasonably competent medical practitioner should be able to detect the injury. If there is any doubt, an opinion should be sought from a more senior clinician.
If a 3b tear is missed and this causes a patient to suffer a bad outcome, there may be grounds for a medical negligence claim. This is because substandard medical care has resulted in unnecessary injuries, which could have been avoided with better medical care.
Contact us today
If you have developed complications because your 3rd degree tear was missed, please get in touch with us today.