Midwives failed to examine Keisha after she gave birth and she left hospital with a missed third degree tear.
When Keisha went into labour, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl without any intervention from the midwives after just four hours.
Afterwards Keisha had an intense pain in her vagina which was much more aggressive than her two previous deliveries. She was also passing a lot of blood. However, the three midwives that were looking after her did not carry out any kind of examination. Instead they urged Keisha to have a bath and left her to her own devices.
When she was back on the ward, Keisha reported the pain and the heavy blood loss to nurses on a number of occasions. Each time her concerns were dismissed. She was discharged two days later without having had any kind of examination.
These problems continued over the following weeks. Keisha could barely walk up the stairs the pain was so intense, and continued to lose a lot of blood.
She told the community midwives about this when they visited in the days following the birth, but again, no one examined her.
It was only when Keisha examined herself with a mirror that a problem was discovered. She was horrified to see that her perineum had gone. Instead there was simply one, continuous gap between her front and back passage. She attended her GP who confirmed that this was the case.
Keisha was referred to a specialist gynaecologist who, after a series of tests, diagnosed her with a third degree tear. The sphincter muscle around her anus was shaped like a horseshoe, rather than a complete circle, and had been torn during the birth of her child. This tear was the cause of Keisha’s symptoms, which by this time also included faecal urgency and faecal leakage.
Keisha went on to have a surgical repair of her third degree tear and this did improve her symptoms slightly. However, the damage caused to her and her family was significant. Due to her bowel problems Keisha was unable to return to work and could hardly leave the house for fear of suffering an episode of incontinence. After surgery she was in hospital for a long time, meaning she lost her bond with her newborn daughter.
All these devastating consequences could have been avoided had a midwife examined Keisha after the birth. Had the routine examination taken place, her third degree tear would have been diagnosed and repaired immediately, preventing any unnecessary complications.
We helped Keisha make a claim for the negligent care provided by the midwives. She was awarded over £20,000 in compensation.
(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.