Ivy did not have a thorough examination after birth, meaning her 3rd degree tear remained undiagnosed for two years. She continues to suffer with faecal urgency.
When Ivy gave birth to her second child, the labour progressed very rapidly and she became concerned about tearing as a result. She asked the midwife who was attending whether she had torn, but was advised there was only a small injury which did not need stitches.
She was discharged from hospital the same day and was seen by the community midwife the following day. Ivy was advised that an examination was not necessary as she had not been sutured.
At no point did Ivy have a thorough examination or a digital rectal examination to check whether she had sustained a severe tear. This is despite the fact she was in extreme pain and had started to pass wind through her vagina. She also had trouble controlling her bladder and her bowels, having to remain close to a toilet at all times.
For the next two years Ivy tried to cope, but eventually the discomfort became too much to tolerate. She researched her symptoms on the internet and suspected she may have a missed tear. She attended her GP who referred her straight to hospital.
She was seen by a colorectal surgeon and was advised that she had a missed 3rd degree tear. An ultrasound was subsequently performed and this showed damage to both her internal and external anal sphincter. This amounts to a 3c tear, which is the most severe type of 3rd degree tear.
The midwife should have diagnosed the injury shortly after the delivery but she failed to perform a proper examination – including a digital rectal examination – and the tear was missed. This amounts to a substandard level of medical care.
As a result of this substandard medical care Ivy has been left with ongoing complications. She has faecal urgency, meaning she only has minutes to reach a toilet. This makes life very difficult at work.
She now avoids social situations as much as possible. She has undergone treatment in an attempt to resolve these issues, but sadly her symptoms have not improved.
We helped Ivy make a claim for the damages she has incurred because of the midwife’s negligence. She was awarded over £70,000 compensation.
(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)