Beatrix was given an episiotomy during the delivery of her first child but this was not performed or repaired properly. Consequently she suffered a third degree tear which was not diagnosed after the birth, leading to a number of complications.
The birth of Beatrix’s first child was going well until she was told to push by the midwife and suddenly began to struggle. The midwife – who was on her own – therefore decided to perform an episiotomy to help the delivery along.
However, this was not entirely necessary as the baby was not showing signs of distress. Furthermore, the midwife did not perform the procedure correctly. Not only was the cut made too early, before the presenting part was on the perineum, she carried out a mid-line episiotomy. This is something that should no longer be practised as it increases the chance of perineal tears.
Shortly after the episiotomy, Beatrix’s baby was born and the midwife stitched the wound back together. At no point was Beatrix given a thorough examination, including a digital rectal examination, to check whether she had a severe tear. She was discharged from hospital three days later without having been seen by a doctor.
Beatrix was recovering well until about three months after the birth when she started to leak faeces from somewhere other than her anus. She thought it must be coming from her vagina and so asked her GP for advice. He put her mind at rest, saying that she simply needed to do more pelvic floor exercises. Because she had been told that faecal leakage was normal, Beatrix did not mention anything to the community midwife.
However, seven months after the delivery Beatrix was still experiencing problems. By that stage the leakage was happening more regularly and she realised that something must be wrong. She returned once again to her GP who then referred her to a gynaecologist. Almost immediately the gynaecologist diagnosed the problem – Beatrix had suffered a third degree tear as a result of the mid-line episiotomy.
The injury should not have occurred because the midwife should have carried out a medio-lateral episiotomy which reduces the chance of perineal damage. As it was, a third degree tear did happen due to the midwife’s error. Nevertheless, this should have been diagnosed shortly after the delivery and repaired by an experienced surgeon. Because it was missed, Beatrix has been left with weakened anal sphincter muscles.
This has had an awful impact upon her life as she must always be aware of the location of the nearest toilet. This has restricted Beatrix’s social and domestic life, and has caused problems at work.
We helped Beatrix make a claim for the harm she suffered because of the midwife’s negligence, obtaining over £50,000 compensation on her behalf.
(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)
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.