Fourth Degree Tear – Jenny’s story

We recently represented Jenny in her six-figure settlement as against a large Dublin maternity hospital arising from injuries suffered during the birth of her son.

When Jenny had her 20 week scan it was noted baby was measuring large. This was Jenny’s first pregnancy and she asked her Consultant did she need a c section, she was told she didn’t and her concerns were dismissed. Jenny was brought in for induction when she was 10 days overdue. Jenny was in considerable pain for hours but labour did not progress. A fetal scalp sample confirmed baby was distressed and a decision was made to deliver baby immediately. An episiotomy was performed and the baby was delivered using forceps. The registrar who delivered Max stitched the episiotomy in the delivery suite. Jenny was discharged two days later.

When Jenny and Max got home she noticed that she was suffering from episodes of faecal incontinence. She sought advice from her GP who referred her back to the hospital. The hospital referred her to physiotherapy but her symptoms didn’t improve. Jenny was eventually referred to a colorectal surgeon who confirmed that she had suffered from a 4th degree tear which was not noticed by the registrar who stitched her episiotomy.

Jenny had to have surgery to attempt to repair the 4th degree tear.

Jenny has been left with residual bowel problems including severe pain from adhesions. She has also suffered from PTSD of moderate severity. Jenny will never be able to give birth naturally again. She also had to change careers and suffered a loss of income.

We obtained positive medico legal reports from a Consultant Obstetrician and Colorectal Surgeon.  Both contended that Jenny’s labour had been mismanaged and, furthermore, that the tear should have been noticed by the registrar immediately post-delivery.

A negotiated settlement was reached in January for a six figure sum.

For further information or if you have had a birth injury please call Emma Meagher on 1800 515 515.

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