If a perineal tear is not properly managed by healthcare staff, there may be grounds for a medical negligence claim.
Medical management of a perineal tear
There are very clear guidelines on the management of perineal tears. These must be adhered to by medical practitioners or the patient could be at risk of injury.
Firstly, a patient must be examined after the birth to check whether or not a tear has been sustained. This can be performed by either a doctor or a midwife. It must, however, include a digital rectal examination or a 3rd or 4th degree tear will not be detected.
Secondly, a suitable repair must be carried out. If a 1st or 2nd degree tear is diagnosed, the laceration can be sutured in the delivery suite by the midwife or doctor. But if a 3rd or 4th degree tear is diagnosed, a repair must be performed in theatre by a surgeon. It is therefore essential that the tear is accurately diagnosed as this will ensure that the correct type of repair is completed.
Lastly, a patient must be given the appropriate after-care. This must include advice upon how best to care for the wound after leaving hospital, as well as post-delivery check-ups at a GP surgery. If symptoms are persisting, a patient should be referred to the appropriate specialist. For example, a weakened pelvic floor can be strengthened with physiotherapy.
Mismanaged perineal tear
If medical practitioners do not manage a perineal tear according to clinical guidelines, the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable. In some unfortunate cases, this will lead to a patient suffering serious complications.
For example, if a 3rd or 4th degree tear is not diagnosed and repaired, a patient will be left with a defect in her anal sphincter. This will make controlling the passing of wind and faeces very difficult, and may even lead to episodes of faecal incontinence.
If a patient suffers such injuries because of a substandard level of medical care, there will be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.
Claiming for a perineal tear
If you believe that your perineal tear was mismanaged by medical professionals, please get in touch with us to discuss your options. If we suspect that you have been the innocent victim of medical negligence, we will help you pursue a claim, fighting on your behalf to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.
To speak to a solicitor, do not hesitate to contact us today.