A 3c tear is a serious type of perineal injury that must be diagnosed and repaired shortly after the birth. A failure to do so will amount to medical negligence. Contact us today to talk to a solicitor about claiming compensation for a missed 3rd degree tear.
Third degree tears can be subdivided into three types of tear: 3a, 3b and 3c. They are described as follows:
- 3a: disruption of the anal sphincter muscles with less than 50% thickness of external sphincter torn
- 3b: disruption of the anal sphincter muscles with more than 50% thickness of external sphincter torn
- 3c: disruption of the anal sphincter muscles with the external and internal sphincter torn
There a 3c tear is the most severe type of 3rd degree tear. It involves both the internal and external anal sphincter, meaning it is a deep injury that can adversely affect function if not repaired.
Repairing 3c tears
It is widely accepted in the medical profession that a defect in the internal anal sphincter can result in faecal incontinence. To avoid this, medical practitioners must diagnose the injury and carry out a surgical repair immediately after the birth.
A diagnosis can be achieved by either a midwife or a doctor. However, the repair itself must be done by a doctor experienced in perineal trauma repair. This should be performed in theatre and involves suturing the laceration with dissolvable stitches.
Delayed repair of 3c tear
If there is a delay between the injury being sustained and a repair being carried out, the faecal incontinence can be permanent. Indeed, such injuries are best treated shortly after birth as this will ensure the best result possible. If there is a delay in treatment, the injury can be difficult to rectify and any complications that have developed since the birth could become long-term.
Missed 3c tear and medical negligence
A failure to diagnose and adequately repair a 3c tear will amount to a substandard level of medical care. Doctors and midwives should be able to identify a perineal tear and make an accurate diagnosis of a 3a, 3b or 3c tear. Once a 3c tear is diagnosed, a repair should be carried out in theatre shortly afterwards.
If your 3c tear was missed and/or not repaired, it is very possible that there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. If this has happened to you, please get in touch with us today.