Claimant aged 21 years, underwent extended episiotomy during delivery of her first child at Defendant Trust’s hospital. The episiotomy wound was sutured by the delivering midwife. Claimant complained of soreness and bleeding of perineum a few hours later and on examination a diagnosis of haematoma was made and ice packs advised. Claimant was discharged the following day.
Community midwife subsequently made three home visits.
Approximately three months after the birth, Claimant attended GP complaining of faecal incontinence and urgency. Upon examination, it was noted Claimant had suffered complete loss of perineum and anus was adjacent to the introitus of the vagina. Claimant underwent electrically stimulated graciloplasty and reconstruction of perineum. Subsequent anal manometry revealed Claimant had significantly reduced resting and squeeze pressures consistent with injury, as well as unilateral left pudendal neuropathy.
Claimant alleged negligence in failure to examine anal sphincter and identify third degree tear and repair immediately following delivery. Trust admitted breach of duty for failing to diagnose sphincter injury prior to discharge.
Claimant suffered incontinence for a period of 1 year until surgical repair of sphincter. The stimulator to her neosphincter would require periodic replacement and there was a significant risk in due course she would require permanent colostomy. She would require Caesarean section to deliver future pregnancies. She also suffered from adjustment disorder and a hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
Out of court settlement: £235,000 (estimated General Damages: £55,000).