If you have become incontinent of faeces after giving birth, you will want to know whether medical negligence is to blame.
Faecal incontinence after birth
Giving birth by way of vaginal delivery puts an enormous amount of strain upon the pelvic floor muscles, pudendal nerve and peri-anal area (which includes the perineum and anal sphincters). This can result in the long-term loss of function, leading to problems such as urinary and faecal incontinence.
Faecal incontinence usually affects women who have sustained damage to their anal sphincters due to a third or fourth degree tear. These are serious injuries that extend from the vaginal opening, down through the perineum and into the anal sphincter(s).
A third or fourth degree tear should be diagnosed shortly after the delivery and repaired by a specialist surgeon in theatre. Even if the injury is properly diagnosed and treated, it is possible that a woman will suffer residual complications as her anal sphincter will be weakened.
Medical negligence faecal incontinence
However, it is possible that a woman’s complications are the direct result of medical error. For example, if a third or fourth degree tear is not diagnosed, a defect will remain in the anal sphincter. This will limit a person’s ability to control the passing of wind and faeces, leading to episodes of incontinence. Even if a repair is subsequently performed, it will not be as effective as a primary repair (meaning a repair that is carried out shortly after the injury occurs).
If a woman develops faecal incontinence because of a missed third or fourth degree tear, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. This is because her incontinence has been caused by the negligent actions of medical practitioners, who may either have failed to examine her, or failed to detect the injury during an examination.
Claiming for medical negligence
If you believe your faecal incontinence has been caused by medical negligence, please get in touch with us today to discuss your options. We will put you through to a solicitor who specialises in this area of the law for a free initial consultation.
After asking you questions about the care you received while giving birth, and the symptoms you have since suffered, a solicitor will be able to advise you further. If there is any indication that you have been the innocent victim of substandard medical care, we will pursue a claim on your behalf, fighting to get the compensation you deserve.
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