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Perineal Tears: Birth Injury Awareness Month July 2018

July 23, 2018

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists state that 90% of women tear during childbirth; however some women can suffer from more severe forms of tearing, which can significantly damage the anal sphincter (the muscle that controls the anus).

Whilst in many cases nothing can be done to prevent perineal tearing, it is sometimes the case that it can occur as a result of medical negligence. In these situations, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation if you have suffered a perineal tear during childbirth.

Medical Negligence and Perineal Tears

Perineal tearing is categorised from the first to fourth degree, with the fourth degree being the most severe and can result in irreversible damage.

In one recent case, a woman was awarded in the region of £70,000 after suffering an avoidable fourth degree perineal tear. The hospital providing her care failed to recognise that she was at risk of perineal damage as a result of the large size of the baby, actively encouraged her to push and failed to protect her perineum by holding the baby’s head to aid delivery in a controlled manner. As a result the patient  suffered incontinence of wind, faecal urgency and faecal leakage which had a drastic effect on her professional, social and sexual life.

In another case, a woman was awarded £450,000 after suffering a fourth degree perineal tear following her fourth child which was not then properly repaired. As a result the patient  suffered from a deep cavity between the anal canal and the vagina which required a colostomy bag. She experience faecal incontinence and had to undergo surgery to try and repair the damage.  It was found that it was possible the patient  would continue to be incontinent for the rest of her life.

Negligent treatment resulting in a perineal tear

If you have suffered from a perineal tear as a result of negligent treatment, it may be possible to make a claim.

Here at Metcalfes we have an experienced team who specialise in cases involving negligent treatment and we can help guide you through the claims process in a sympathetic and understanding manner.

Please contact us on 0117 239 8012. Alternatively, you can email us using our online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you. 

For more information about Birth Injuries please visit the Birth Trauma Association website

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