Penny sustained a third degree tear during birth because her daughter’s shoulders became stuck behind her pubic bone. The injury was not diagnosed and repaired, and she now faces a life-time of incontinence.
The birth of Penny’s first child was progressing well until the midwife noted that the baby was not descending. The obstetrician became concerned that the baby had turned and decided to perform a forceps delivery in theatre.
After one tug with the forceps, the baby’s head was delivered. However, the shoulders became stuck behind Penny’s pubic bone, a complication called shoulder dystocia. Pressure was applied to Penny’s stomach and eventually a healthy baby was born.
The obstetrician told Penny that she was going to suture the wound, which she described as a second degree tear. Penny was then sent back to the ward.
On the ward, Penny noted that she had no sensation in her pelvic floor whatsoever. She was also completely incontinent and kept soiling the sheets. Despite her symptoms, she was discharged from hospital the following day without even being examined.
Penny remained incontinent in the months following the birth. Eventually, she returned to her GP and was referred to a colorectal expert, who confirmed that Penny had actually sustained a third degree tear during birth, rather than a second degree tear.
Due to the unrepaired defect in her sphincter, Penny was unable to control the passing of wind and faeces. She later underwent a sphincter repair under general anaesthetic, but this has not improved her condition.
It is likely that Penny will remain incontinent. This has had a devastating impact upon her life. She tried to go back to work but her condition made it impossible to continue, resulting in significant financial loss.
Had the obstetrician diagnosed and repaired the third degree tear after the birth, it is likely that these complications would have been avoided. We helped Penny pursue a claim for the terrible damages she has suffered as a result of the obstetrician’s negligence.
She was awarded over £170,000 in compensation.
(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)
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.