We pursued a gynaecology negligence claim for Wendy for the failure to detect a third degree tear following childbirth which resulted in 8 months of incontinence. Wendy received £25,000.
Wendy became pregnant for the first time in April 1995. On 10 February 1996, Wendy went into spontaneous labour and was admitted to King’s College Hospital.
After a long labour, a ventouse delivery was attempted. This failed and a generous episiotomy was performed and followed by forceps delivery. The episiotomy was later repaired and a final inspection of the perineum performed.
Following discharge from hospital, Wendy suffered from frank incontinence, faecal leaking and loss of bowel control. She was referred to a colorectal surgeon who suspected a third degree tear.
An ultrasound was carried out, which confirmed extensive disruption to the external anal sphincter. This was repaired in November 1996. Though largely successful, Wendy continued to experience problems with faecal leakage. She also suffered anxiety and depression.
Wendy instructed us in January 1999, shortly before limitation expired and protective proceedings were issued on 10 March 1999.
Expert evidence confirmed that the obstetrician who performed the episiotomy should have suspected damage to the external anal sphincter and performed a rectal examination. This would have revealed the injury.
Repair of the injury at this time would have avoided the 8 months of incontinence Wendy suffered and the consequent depression. She would also have had a better long term result in terms of complete continence.
The hospital alleged that third degree tears in childbirth are frequently missed by responsible clinicians and therefore there was no negligence.
The action was fixed for trial on November 2000 and conducted on a no win, no fee basis. The amount of compensation was agreed subject to the claimant (Wendy) establishing liability. The trial lasted 5 days and, after 4 weeks, Wendy received judgment in her favour.
The Judge found that a proper examination after delivery would have revealed an extension of the episiotomy into the external anal sphincter and would have led to a diagnosis of the third degree tear.
An immediate repair would have been carried out. However the learned Judge felt that in the long term there had been no difference in outcome in terms of ongoing problems. Nevertheless, he awarded Wendy £25,000.
- You can speak to our medical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 358 3848
- e-Mail us at email@example.com
- Complete our short enquiry form
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Substantial six-figure damages for permanent bilateral vocal cord palsy injury at Hillingdon Hospital
Arti Shah has successfully concluded a permanent bilateral vocal cord palsy case for a substantial sum against Hillingdon Hospital.
Sepsis: lack of funding for vital health services must not deter parents from seeking help
Sepsis hit the headlines again last week following the tragic death of 18-year-old Melissa Whiteley.
A Face in the Crowd: Maxillofacial Trauma Conference
Fieldfisher is pleased to be running a conference in London on the 15th March 2018 to discuss different aspects of maxillofacial injuries.
Tragedy of baby deaths at Nottingham City Hospital must generate change
A report into the death of a baby at Nottingham City Hospital details distressing findings.