If you have suffered a third or fourth degree perineal tear, you should have undergone a surgical repair. If you are now suffering long-term symptoms due to a failure to treat your injury, you may wish to consider making a compensation claim.
Responding to perineal birth injuries
A third or fourth degree tear during vaginal childbirth requires prompt treatment:
- Prompt diagnosis after childbirth
- Accurate classification of any injury
- Appropriate and complete repair
A third or fourth degree tear injures a woman’s anal sphincter muscles. In the case of a fourth degree tear, both the internal and external muscles as well as the lining of the anal canal are all damaged.
It is not appropriate for such injury to be repaired on a maternity ward by someone inadequately trained.
Repairing obstetric anal sphincter injuries
Repair of obstetric injuries of this nature needs to take place in an operating theatre, by an experienced surgeon with the appropriate techniques, using the appropriate materials.
Clear guidelines have been issued regarding all aspects of perineal tear management by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
It is important that the injury has been accurately classified so that the entire extent of the injury is repaired. A failure to repair the injury fully may result in the breakdown of the repair, and the development of a fistula between the rectum and the vagina. Additional surgery at a later date may not be as effective as competent surgery at the time of the birth, and may leave the woman with a range of distressing and life-changing symptoms.
If a perineal tear is misdiagnosed and, therefore, does not receive the level of skill and attention it requires, the woman concerned may develop the following symptoms:
- Incontinence of wind
- Extreme urgency when needing the toilet
- Incontinence of faeces
- Leakage of wind and faeces from the vagina
If a woman is suffering the above symptoms because her severe perineal injury was not accurately diagnosed at the time of her baby’s birth, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.
Contact us to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.
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If you, or your family member, has suffered a birth injury tear, please call us now for free, no obligation advice on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile click to call 01275 334030) or complete our Free Online Enquiry.