If you have just discovered that you suffered a 3rd degree tear during childbirth and the injury was not accurately diagnosed and repaired, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Contact us for more information.
I just found out that I have a 3rd degree tear
We have dealt with cases in which a patient is diagnosed with a second degree tear after birth, only to discover at a later date that a third degree tear was actually sustained. Normally this diagnosis is made because a woman begins to suffer symptoms, for which she seeks medical attention.
It is not unusual for the misdiagnosis to be realised months or even years after the birth, as many women think that bowel dysfunction after childbirth is temporary and normal, and will eventually settle. It is only when the faecal urgency/incontinence fails to resolve that a patient returns to a GP for help.
Is a misdiagnosis negligent?
The failure to diagnose and repair a 3rd degree tear equates to a breach of duty of care. If this causes a patient unnecessary harm – such as the onset of symptoms – there will be a case of medical negligence. This means the patient will be eligible to pursue a medical negligence claim.
Why do I have grounds for a claim?
The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guidelines clearly document that 3rd degree tears should be identified and appropriately repaired by practitioners who have suitable experience. A failure to achieve this will mean that the healthcare professionals have not provided an acceptable standard of care.
When a substandard level of care causes a patient harm, there will be grounds for a compensation claim. If a 3rd degree tear is mistaken for a 2nd degree tear the patient will suffer harm because the appropriate repair will not be conducted.
Second and third degree tears are different injuries which require different forms of treatment. A second degree tear involves the disruption of the vaginal mucosa and wall and the perineal muscles. It does not involve the muscles of the anal sphincter, as a 3rd degree tear does.
Therefore a 2nd degree tear can be easily sutured together by a midwife in the delivery suite. On the other hand, a 3rd degree tear is a much more complex injury and must be repaired by a surgeon in theatre. A 3rd degree tear that is repaired as a 2nd degree tear will not be effective as a defect will remain in the anal sphincter. Symptoms such as urgency and incontinence will subsequently occur.
Contact us today
For more information on claiming compensation for a wrongly diagnosed 3rd degree tear, please contact us today.