Vaginal Tears Guide - What Are They And How Are They Caused?

May 21 08:32 2009 Nick Jervis Print This Article

If you have experienced a vaginal tear during childbirth, when does this vaginal tear amount to negligence by a medical professional? If you attend hospital to give birth to your child, you trust the professionals looking after you to do the best they can for you and your unborn child. Unfortunatley, however, there are occasions where they fail to meet the high standards expected of them. In some cases this is through no fault of their own, however, on other occasions action could or should have been taken to prevent the tear, and in these occasions this can lead to a medical negligence claim.

This aricle explores the complications of a vaginal tear and when it can lead to a medical negligence claim .

What Is A Vaginal Tear?

A vaginal tear can occur quite naturally during birth. Often the size of the baby causes the mother to tear. If a first or second degree tear occurs,Guest Posting this does not normally cause any longterm injuries to the mother. However, third or fourth degree tears can cause significant problems.
When Can A Vaginal Tear Amount To Medical Negligence?

There are several problems that can lead to a claim for medical negligence, including:

    * Failure to carry out an episiotomy
    * Failure to spot and correctly repair an anal sphincter injury


One of the key issues that can lead to a medical negligence claim when vaginal tears occur, is whether an episiotomy, which is a cut carried out by the medical team, should have been made during labour which would have avoided the natural tear. The reason for this is that an episiotomy is a controlled cut and the medical staff determine where that takes place, whereas a natural tear can tear towards the anus which can cause Anal Sphincter Injury (see below).
Anal Sphincter Injury

If the vaginal tear has been severe, it can cause the anal sphincter to rupture. The sphincter has three different layers, and if the medical team fail to realise that the rupture has damaged more than the outer layer and only repair that layer, leaving the internal ones ruptured without repairing them, this can lead to temporary or even permanent incontinence and longterm problems.

Evidence has shown that if repair is made at the time of labour then the majority of women will make a full recovery, whereas if it is not initially picked up at labour/not properly repaired less than half will make a full recovery.

If the medical team fail to spot the extent of the injury immediately after childbirth this can lead to a claim for medical negligence.
What Action Can You Take If You Had A Vaginal Tear

If you had a vaginal tear at the time of birth and have had incontinence problems since the birth you should seek urgent medical and legal assistance. The sooner that the rupture can be diagnosed the more chance you will have of making a complete recovery. Taking early legal advice will allow your legal adviser to obtain evidence to support your claim whilst it is still available.

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About Article Author

Nick Jervis
Nick Jervis

Glynns Solicitors are specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors and Personal Injury Solicitors offering free initial reviews of all claim enquiries and a variety of funding options. Find Bath Solicitors now?

Nick Jervis is a solicitor (non-practising) and a consultant to Glynns Solicitors.

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