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Compensation for another young mother left badly injured after child birth

Misdiagnosed and delayed repair of severe perineal injury left woman needing corrective surgery

Photo: istock

3 February 2011

Specialist clinical negligence solicitors at Leigh Day have succeeded in claiming damages on behalf of their client, a young mother who was left badly injured when her post delivery care was mishandled.

Maternal injury claims specialist Sally Jean Nicholes and her team have recently settled a case for a woman who gave birth to her first child in April 2007 at Medway Maritime Hospital.  Her pregnancy had been uneventful and after experiencing the first signs of labour she went to hospital to deliver her baby.

During the second stage of labour our client told the midwife that it “felt as if something was ripping inside her”.  The midwife urged her to continue to push which she did but felt a terrible burning pain as she did so.  Our client’s baby was born in a healthy condition.

After the delivery our client continued to suffer terrible burning pain. After examining our client the midwife said there was a superficial perineal tear and put in three stitches.  Our client was discharged without being examined by a doctor.  A week later our client was still in excruciating pain and had faecal incontinence.  She was advised to go to hospital by a community midwife.

After undergoing painful examinations by a number of different doctors the true extent of the damage was diagnosed; she had suffered a fourth degree perineal tear (the most serious) and sphincter muscle damage.  The area had become infected.

Once the infection had cleared she had to undergo surgery to have a colostomy bag fitted and was referred for further treatment with a specialist colorectal surgeon for reconstructive surgery.

Our client endured dreadful symptoms for over three years, continues to suffer from dyspareunia and some incontinence. The psychological impact of what has happened to her resulted in diagnosis of an adjustment disorder.

The Hospital Trust has admitted that it misdiagnosed the tear and has now paid a six-figure sum by way of compensation for our client’s unnecessary suffering.

Leigh Day continue to be consulted by numerous women who have been injured as a result of childbirth.  Sally Jean Nicholes said:

“We are regularly contacted by women who have suffered terrible injuries arising from childbirth and who suffer excruciating symptoms with devastating consequences for them and their families.  Even talking about what has happened is very hard from any women, if not taboo.  Women should not suffer in silence and must get help if they have been injured”.

For more information and a free initial consultation about a possible compensation claim please contact Sally Jean Nicholes  or Angharad Vaughan on 020 7650 1200.

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