If your anal sphincter tore during childbirth but the injury was not recognised and treated shortly afterwards, you may be suffering from ongoing symptoms. If so you need to talk to a solicitor about the care you received, as you could be entitled to claim compensation.
For more information on claiming compensation for a missed tear, please get in touch with our friendly team of solicitors today.
Symptoms of missed anal sphincter injury
The anal sphincter complex comprises two main components – the internal anal sphincter which is responsible for maintaining closure of the anal canal at rest, and the external anal sphincter which is voluntarily contracted to defer defecation.
A 3a and 3b tear are associated with an injury to the external anal sphincter. This will lead to symptoms such as urgency of defecation. A 3c tear and a fourth degree tear are associated with an injury to both the internal and external sphincter. This will lead to incontinence of wind and faeces, as well as urgency of defecation.
Preventing symptoms with a proper repair
However, all these symptoms can be avoided with a properly repaired 3rd degree tear. This repair must be conducted shortly after the birth if it is to be effective. It is well established that secondary repairs of the anal sphincter complex are not successful in the majority of women in the longer term. Therefore the repair must be completed shortly after the birth.
Failure to repair tear
If medical practitioners do not diagnose and repair an anal sphincter that has torn during birth, the level of care will be substandard. If this causes the patient to develop symptoms that would otherwise have been avoided, there will be a case of medical negligence.
A medical negligence claim is intended to provide some recompense for the physical and emotional injuries sustained, as well as the loss of amenity/loss of finances.
Evidently incontinence and/or urgency of defecation will impact on a patient’s day to day living. It may also affect the patient’s decision to have further children. Furthermore, it is likely that a patient’s symptoms will deteriorate with the effects of age and the menopause.
Talk to a solicitor today
To find out whether you could be able to claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained while giving birth, please contact us today. We will be able to advise if you have grounds for a medical negligence claim.