Whilst it is relatively uncommon for woman to suffer significant injury during childbirth, if such injuries do occur the effects can be painful and even debilitating.
Our Bristol based medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience when it comes to handling birth injury claims.
If you would like to discuss a birth injury directly with one of our medical negligence solicitors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our initial advice is always free.
What are the most common birth injuries?
If you believe you have experienced any of the common birth injuries below as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to a birth injury compensation claim:
• Perineal tears: Childbirth can lead to an overstretching of the vagina due to the baby being large and/or the mother being slight. This can cause tears in the skin between the vagina and the rectum (the perineum). Most of the time, these tears are minor and heal without any problem, but the more serious tears (classified as third or fourth degree tears) can cause significant problems which include ongoing pain and incontinence.
• Retained swab: Swabs are used for cleansing purposes and to soak up naturally occurring blood during childbirth. Occasionally, they are left in the vagina by mistake. If not identified and removed immediately, they can cause the patient to suffer infection and blood loss amongst other things. Find out more here.
• Traumatic cloaca: This is where the vagina and the rectum essentially become one entity as a result of obstetric injury during childbirth. Side effects include incontinence.
• Rectovaginal fistula: A fistula is an unnatural connection between an organ, vessel or intestine and some other part of the body. As the name suggests, a rectovaginal fistula occurs when a connection is formed between the rectum and the vagina, leading to faeces being passed through the vagina. The most common cause of rectovaginal fistulas is obstetric trauma.
• Episiotomy pain: Damage to the perineum during childbirth can occur spontaneously or as a result of the midwife or doctor making an episiotomy (a surgical incision) to help with childbirth. It is not uncommon for a woman to experience pain from an episiotomy for several weeks, if not months, after giving birth. This does not necessarily mean that the treating medical staff were negligent in the way an episiotomy was carried out. However, if the episiotomy was not justified in the first place, then that would be negligent.