If your third degree tear was not diagnosed after the birth of your child, you may be suffering shocking bowel and sexual problems.
Diagnosing a third degree tear
When a woman gives birth via the vagina, it is vital that she undergoes a thorough examination afterwards.
This should include a digital rectal examination to check if she has suffered a third or fourth degree tear.
A failure to carry out such an examination could leave the woman unable to control her bowels. This means that she could pass wind and faeces without meaning to.
Misdiagnosing a third degree tear
If only a cursory examination is carried out, it is possible for the medical practitioner to miss a severe tear. This could mean that a 1st or 2nd degree tear may be identified instead of the more serious third or fourth degree tear.
This could cause a serious problem for the woman as third and fourth degree tears cause damage to the anus as well as the perineum and require a surgical repair by a suitably trained and experienced surgeon in an operating theatre.
If a childbirth tear is not accurately assessed, there is no guarantee that the surgical repair will resolve the entire area of damage and the woman could experience ono-going symptoms for years to come.
An internal rectal examination is, therefore, vital in order to make an accurate assessment of either a third or fourth degree tear.
Third and fourth degree tears
A third degree tear can cause damage to both the external and internal anal sphincter muscles which control bowel movements. Third degree tears are further sub-classified into three groups according to the extent of damage caused and if a 3c tear is misdiagnosed as a 3a tear it can mean that damage to the internal sphincter is neither noticed nor repaired.
A fourth degree tear will additionally cause damage to the internal lining of the anal canal which can result in a fistula developing between the bowel and the vagina if it is not promptly identified and repaired.
A failure to assess a woman’s perineum thoroughly after childbirth may be considered an act of negligence. If she subsequently develops life-limiting symptoms, not only may she need to undergo surgery to attempt a late repair, but she might also be entitled to make a compensation claim for her pain and suffering and subsequent losses.
Speak to a solicitor
If you are suffering the appalling symptoms of an undiagnosed severe perineal tear, you may wish to consider talking to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.
Contact us to discuss your situation with a solicitor specialising in birth injury negligence.
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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.