During the birth of her second child, Catlin sustained a third degree tear. Sadly the injury was not recognised and repaired at the time and she went on to develop urinary and faecal incontinence.
When Catlin gave birth to her second child, the labour was complicated by shoulder dystocia and a ventouse extraction was needed. After two pulls a healthy baby was born.
Afterwards Catlin was examined by a junior doctor and diagnosed with a second degree tear. This was repaired in the delivery suite, although the doctor was very inexperienced and required assistance from the midwives.
Catlin remained in hospital for another two days as she developed a haematoma the size of a tennis ball on her perineum. This has been caused at the time of the delivery, firstly because of the shoulder dystocia, and secondly because her son was a very large baby.
Once at home Catlin felt extremely weak and began to suffer from episodes of faecal incontinence. She also had urinary leakage whenever she sneezed, coughed, jumped or even got out of the bath.
She attended her local hospital and was referred for physiotherapy. The specialist was very shocked she had given birth naturally, particularly as Catlin was a petite woman. However, at no point has Catlin been offered a C-section, even though it was very obvious the baby was large.
Catlin continued to do pelvic floor exercises as recommended by the physio for the next six months. Unfortunately she saw no improvement and had to remain very close to a toilet, having little control over the passing of faeces or wind.
In light of these continuing problems, Catlin returned to her GP. She was referred to a gynaecologist and, after a number of tests, was told she had, in fact, sustained a third degree tear during the delivery of her son.
Catlin was then referred to a specialist colorectal surgeon who told her that she had significant damage to her external sphincter, which explained her symptoms. These could have been avoided had a repair been carried out shortly after the birth.
Catlin has since been treated with sacral nerve stimulation which has helped to improve her symptoms slightly. However, she still suffers from faecal urgency and is afraid to stray far from a toilet. She can no longer do any exercise, where once she was very fit and active.
Catlin contacted us to discuss her case and we advised she had been the innocent victim of medical error. The doctor should have diagnosed and repaired the third degree tear after the birth. A failure to do so amounted to a substandard level of care.
We helped Catlin claim compensation for the damage she was caused. She was awarded over £70,000 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.