Third Degree Tears

Compensation For 3rd Degree Tears

If You Have Suffered a Third Degree Tear During Childbirth, You May Be Able to Make a Claim For Medical Negligence Compensation.

If your birth is well planned and well cared for, you should be able to avoid a 3rd degree tear and have a pain and trouble free birth. However, if your medical team miss obvious signs that you are likely to tear during birth and fail to take preventative action, such as an episiotomy or caesarean birth, you may well be able to make a birth injury claim for medical negligence.

What Is A 3rd Degree Tear?

A 3rd degree tear is a tear of the skin often extending into the perineal skin and the perineal muscles during child birth. It can cause severe pain and potentially lead to long term complications including discomfort when visiting the toilet and during sexual intercourse.

A third degree tear is a birth injury that involves the anal sphincter. The injury itself has differing levels of severity which can be described as follows;-

3A: involves less than 50% of the external anal sphincter;
3B: involves more than 50% of the external anal sphincter;
3C: complete division of external and internal sphincter.

Third degree tears can unfortunately happen to any women giving birth, although it is accepted that the first delivery is often the most traumatic and is likely to be associated with a significant injury to the perineum and/or anal sphincters. If a third degree tear does occur, a woman can make a full recovery and regain normal bladder, bowel and sexual function once again. Nevertheless, it is absolutely vital that medical professionals manage the injury according to medical guidelines, or a woman could be left with permanent complications.

However, early and urgent medical attention can dramatically improve your chances of a full recovery. Our specialist 3rd degree tear solicitors will not only focus on your legal rights, but also your need for remedial medical attention.

When Does A 3rd Degree Tear Amount To Medical Negligence?

A mother may be at risk of a third degree tear in all of the following circumstances:

  • When it is clear the baby is too large to be born naturally;
  • When the mother's perineum is not as flexible as it needs to be;
  • When the second stage of labour takes longer than expected;
  • When it is a first birth; or
  • Labour is induced.

If the medical team ignore any of the above circumstances, or take no action in spite of these circumstances, it may well amount to medical negligence. If you have suffered a 3rd degree tear, please do not sit there and worry about it. We are here to help you.

1stClaims can connect you with specialist medical negligence solicitors who can advise you whether you can make a claim, what treatment might be available for you and how much compensation you will receive.

Please contact us to discover your legal rights. Call us free on 0800 2888 693 or complete an online 3rd Degree Tear enquiry to be advised of your options.

What are the Costs?

1stClaims does not charge you for using our service and all initial enquiries with our Solicitors are also free of charge, so rest assured, this initial step of making an enquiry will not cost you anything.

Once one of our Solicitors has assessed the merits of your enquiry they will make a judgement on the likely chances of bringing a successful claim and if the prospects are good, they will normally offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. NOTE: If your case is successful your Solicitor will deduct up to a maximum of 25% of your final settlement or compensation award as payment for their fees. You can find out more about No Win No Fee arrangements and the potential costs that can be incurred by clicking here.

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Contact Us Today

If you have suffered because your third degree tear was not diagnosed or properly repaired at the time of delivery, you could claim compensation for the damages you have experienced. Contact a solicitor as soon as possible to find out what action you need to take next. Call 1stClaims free on 0800 2888 693 or complete an online 3rd Degree Tear enquiry to be advised of your options. If you need more information on birth injuries return to the home page.

We understand that if you are on our website you may well be confused: confused about the treatment you have received and confused about your options. This is why we offer you a free, no obligation discussion with one of our medical negligence solicitors. Simply call us on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01348 630 720) or complete our Medical Negligence enquiry form to be advised of your options.


How Should a Third Degree Tear be Managed?

The management of third degree tears has changed over the last 10 to 15 years. In the past many of these injuries were missed or not properly repaired, and therefore the results of third degree tear repairs were poor with many women suffering persistent problems.

However, there has been major improvement in obstetric practice over this time period and obstetricians are now much more adept at identifying and repairing such injuries. In accordance with these changes, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has produced specific guidelines for the management of third degree tears. These state that a tear should be diagnosed at the time of delivery, and should be repaired by an experienced obstetrician in the operating theatre with adequate anaesthesia and instrumentation and good lighting. Alongside identification and repair the guidelines also say that a plan for follow-up care should be devised, with pelvic floor physiotherapy and assessment in a colorectal unit arranged.

Since these guidelines have been in place, the vast majority of women who suffer third degree have had their injuries appropriately managed by medical professionals. This has produced extremely good results, with 70 to 80% reporting perfect continence.

What Happens if a Third Degree Tear is Poorly Managed?

If a medical professional fails to identify a third degree tear at the time of delivery, or fails to perform an appropriate repair, a woman will soon begin to experience problems. Generally this will involve incidents of faecal and flatus incontinence, with pain, sexual dysfunction and leaking faeces through the vagina also possible. This will evidently lead to emotional and social difficulties, and will also require a secondary repair to be performed. However, surgery to repair a third degree tear is most successful immediately after the delivery; the longer it is delayed, the poorer the prognosis will be.

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