After giving birth Kirsten began to pass faeces from her vagina. She repeatedly sought medical assistance but it was not for another year that she was diagnosed with a third degree tear, an injury that had remained undetected since the birth.
When Kirsten went into labour with her first child, she was put on a drip to speed up the contractions as the labour was progressing so slowly. She was eventually given an epidural and told to push but due to the prolonged nature of the birth, the delivery room staff became worried about the baby’s heart rate.
Consequently, one of the doctors used a pair of forceps to deliver Kirsten’s baby. Kirsten was then stitched by a different obstetrician. Later she read her discharge notes which said she had suffered a second degree tear, although at no point had she been told this, nor was she examined before leaving hospital.
At home Kirsten was unable to move due to the pain. She could barely walk and had to sit on a cushion. During a routine visit the midwife said Kirsten’s perineum was very raw and suggested applying a pack of frozen peas for pain relief but this did not help.
After about four weeks Kirsten also began to pass faeces from her vagina. She became very concerned so attended her GP. As a precautionary measure an ultrasound scan was arranged, after which Kirsten was told that everything was normal.
Yet still her condition did not improve. Three weeks after the scan she returned to a different GP and this time was diagnosed with a urine infection. She took the full course of tablets but did not feel any better so returned to her GP once again. More swabs were taken but these came back negative.
Over the following months, Kirsten continued to seek medical advice for her symptoms but it was not until she was finally referred to a gynaecologist, almost a year after the birth of her child, that she was diagnosed with a third degree tear which had been mistakenly diagnosed as a second degree tear at the time of the birth.
Kirsten later underwent a secondary repair but she continues to suffer symptoms. She often has pain in the perineal area and is sometimes incontinent of faeces. This has had a terrible impact on her life, affecting her ability to play with her son, go out socially and have more children. She needs constant help around the house and has become depressed by her condition.
These complications could have been avoided had a third degree tear been diagnosed and treated shortly after the birth. The fact it remained undetected for over a year, despite Kirsten repeatedly seeking medical attention, is totally unacceptable. This opinion was supported by the gynaecologist who could not believe the delay in diagnosis. We helped Kirsten make a claim for the pain and suffering she experienced, securing over £50,000 in compensation on her behalf.
(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.