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Christine* approached Boyes Turner Solicitors regarding a claim for delay in diagnosis of a third degree perineal tear

The midwife attending the delivery diagnosed a second degree tear, and sutured the tear in the delivery room by herself. The midwife’s note did not detail how the midwife had arrived at a diagnosis of a second degree tear, or what steps had been taken to repair the tear and to ensure that an adequate repair had taken place.

Subsequently Christine became unwell with abdominal pain and was diagnosed as suffering from gallstones, for which she underwent a procedure.

Christine suffered with symptoms of faecal urgency and incontinence following the delivery of her son, but did not understand that these may be related to a birth injury. She was also suffering with the symptoms from her gallstone procedure, and it was therefore not until the end of 2010 that she sought medical attention. Christine was reviewed by an obstetrician, and referred to a colorectal specialist, who informed her that she had in fact sustained a third degree tear following the delivery of her son. The tear had therefore been inappropriately repaired by the midwife.

A claim was brought against Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, after expert evidence was obtained from a midwife and a colorectal surgeon. Liability was admitted in August 2012. 

In light of the severity of her injury, unfortunately there is unlikely to be any improvement in Christine’s symptoms. It has been recommended that she undergo biofeedback physiotherapy treatment, has been recommended as an option for future treatment.

Christine has been diagnosed with a psychological injury as a result of her injury and ongoing symptoms. This event has been incredibly distressing for Christine, whose relationship with her husband has deteriorated and whose relationship with her child suffered initially as a result of her symptoms. It has also been difficult for Christine to concentrate on completing her family.

Following negotiations with the NHS Litigation Authority, the matter was settled in the sum of £200,000. 

There was no cost to our client in bringing this claim.