Have you recently been told that your second degree tear is in fact a third degree tear? If so you need to speak to a solicitor about the options available to you. You could be entitled to claim compensation for the damage you have been caused.
I’ve been told I have a 3rd degree tear
Unfortunately we hear from a number of women who were originally told they suffered a 2nd degree tear during childbirth, only to find out at a later date that they actually sustained a 3rd degree tear.
Ordinarily what happens is that the patient is examined after the delivery and advised that a 2nd degree tear has occurred. This may result in a few stitches being put in place. The patient is then discharged from hospital, only to develop ongoing symptoms such as faecal urgency, incontinence of wind and faecal incontinence/leakage. The patient subsequently seeks medical attention for these symptoms and will be referred to a colorectal surgeon for examinations and investigations. This will lead to a diagnosis of a missed 3rd degree tear.
Missed 3rd degree tear
A 3rd degree tear is much more extensive than a 2nd degree tear as it involves the anal sphincter complex. Therefore a missed 3rd degree tear will mean that a defect is left in the anal sphincter. That is why there will be symptoms of faecal urgency, leakage and incontinence, as the sphincter is not able to function properly.
A 3rd degree tear is supposed to be diagnosed and treated immediately after the birth. It is not acceptable for it to be mistaken for a 2nd degree tear. The two injuries require different types of treatment: a 2nd degree tear will need a small amount of sutures which can be inserted by a midwife, whereas a 3rddegree tear requires an intricate repair which must be performed by an experienced surgeon.
Speak to a solicitor today
If you have recently been advised that you have a third degree tear, not a second degree tear, you need to talk to a solicitor without delay. A missed third degree tear will amount to substandard level of medical care. If you have suffered as a result, you will be legally entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.
Our solicitors specialise in medical negligence claims, specifically in perineal tear claims. This means we will be able to offer all the legal advice you need.