If your perineal tear was not diagnosed after the birth of your child, you will want to know why the mistake was made. Is there a valid reason why a perineal tear might be missed? Or is medical negligence to blame?
Perineal tears do arise during vaginal deliveries. The incident of a tear in itself does not amount to medical negligence. But the failure to diagnose and repair a perineal tear will be.
This is because all women who have had a vaginal delivery must be examined to check whether a tear has been sustained. A digital rectal examination is the only way to diagnose more severe tears (3rd and 4th degree tears), so it is important that this is completed by the medical practitioner. A competent midwife or doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis.
There is no reason why this examination should not be performed and an accurate diagnosis obtained. The only exception to this is if a mother is experiencing other, serious complications and requires medical intervention.
In the past, a tear that was missed shortly after the birth was often referred to as an occult tear, meaning that was hidden and could not have been diagnosed.
However, occult tears are no longer a valid excuse for a missed tear. Medical experts have confirmed that while some perineal tears cannot be seen with a visual examination, they can be diagnosed with a proper digital rectal examination. All women who have had a vaginal delivery are supposed to undergo such an examination, so no perineal tear should be missed.
Missed perineal tear medical negligence
Other than a patient’s life being in danger, there is no reason why a perineal tear should be missed. If a tear is not diagnosed and there are not any extenuating circumstances, it is very likely that medical negligence is to blame. Often this will occur because a thorough examination was not performed, or because an examination was not performed competently.
If your 3rd or 4th degree tear was not diagnosed, you could be the innocent victim of medical negligence. To find out, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in birth injury claims. This will enable you to establish your legal position, clarifying whether you could be eligible to pursue a medical negligence claim for compensation.
To talk to a lawyer about your missed tear, please get in touch with us today.