£25,000 recovered for failure to identify and properly treat third degree tear

Our client, a 28 year old woman from Ramsgate, attended the QEQM Hospital in Margate, on 27.03.08, to give birth to her first child.

Her birth proceeded to a delivery by Ventouse.

The Obstetrician who performed the procedure failed to make any contemporaneous operating note.

The delivery caused a third degree tear which the delivering doctor sutured.

Unfortunately, however, he misclassified the tear as a 3c rather than a 3a or b tear.

In consequence, it is likely that the repair attempt was limited to the external sphincter, leaving the internal sphincter, despite it having been breached.

Subsequently, our client began to suffer with faecal incontinence and, upon colorectal referral and investigations, a defect in the internal sphincter between ’11 o’clock and 3 o’clock was detected.

Subsequently she had to undergo a Fentons procedure gynaecologically and implant of a sacral nerve stimulator.

The trauma also caused her psychiatric injury.

Pre issue, the case was fully defended, under the Pre Action Protocol.

Subsequently, however, it was settled in the sum of £25,000 pursuant to negotiations.

Nick Fairweather, who had conduct of the case, commented:-

“This was a complicated case. It was clear that obstetrician misclassified the perineal tear. What happened, exactly, at the time of delivery was obscured by the fact that no operating note was produced.

Causation was complicated due to the difficulty in forecasting what level of repair could have been achieved in any event, notwithstanding the negligence, had the nature and extent of the tear been correctly classified at the outside.

Ultimately, through a lot of perseverance, a satisfactory settlement was reached which will make things a lot easier for my client and her young family moving forwards.

The colorectal care she has had has been excellent.”