Obstetrics / Vaginal delivery

Third degree tear

Severe tear to the vagina during vaginal delivery

Success story

Bobbi suffered a third degree perineal tear following the forceps delivery of her first child in 2009. The injury was not recognised and the external anal sphincter was not repaired at this time, leading to persistent symptoms of faecal incontinence. PMS Expert Report concluded that although the severe tear was not an optimal result, it was the failure to identify and repair it immediately that constitute medical negligence in this case. Perineal trauma is a recognised complication of forceps delivery, and the doctor was in significant breach of duty by not recognising and suturing it. Had he done so, there is a 90% chance that Bobbi would have had normal anal function afterwards. The case settled and Bobbi was compensated.

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