Have you just been told that you suffered a 3rd degree tear during childbirth which was not diagnosed and treated at the time?
A failure to identify and repair a 3rd degree tear is likely to amount to medical negligence. If this is something that has happened to you, please get in touch with us today. We are a specialist medical negligence firm and have considerable experience in perineal tear claims.
Diagnosing a 3rd degree tear
A 3rd degree tear is a serious perineal tear that involves the perineum and anal sphincter. It is a significant injury and will cause dysfunction if left untreated.
Because of these potential complications, it is very important that medical practitioners look for any perineal tears after the birth during a thorough examination. If a laceration is spotted, the full extent of the tear should be determined. This will enable a diagnosis to be made of a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree tear. Treatment can then be provided according to the diagnosis. If a 3rd or 4th degree tear is diagnosed, a repair should be conducted in theatre by a surgeon.
Why has my 3rd degree tear only just been diagnosed?
Therefore there is no valid reason why a 3rd degree tear would be missed – the exception being that the mother could not be examined after the birth because she was experiencing life-threatening complications such as a haemorrhage. Otherwise there should be a complete examination immediately after the birth and an accurate diagnosis of a 3rd degree tear achieved.
Nevertheless, there are occasions when 3rd degree tears are missed. If this has happened to you, you must be wondering why your tear was not identified? There are many reasons why a 3rd degree tear might be missed, with the most common being that a proper examination was not carried out after the birth. A full examination should include a rectal examination. Often this is not done and the 3rd degree tear remains undiagnosed.
Other times it might be that an examination was performed, but the midwife or doctor failed to spot any type of injury, or failed to accurately diagnose the tear as a 3rd degree tear.
If your 3rd degree tear has only just been diagnosed because medical errors such as those described above, you need to seek legal advice.
Legal advice for a missed 3rd degree tear
If you have developed complications after giving birth which prompted you to seek medical help, and this resulted in a missed 3rd degree tear being diagnosed, please get in touch with us today. You could be the victim of medical negligence, meaning you will be entitled to compensation.