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Four Types of Perineal Tear Birth Injuries

Four Types of Perineal Tear Birth Injuries

Perineal Tear

Perineal tears are a relatively common occurrence during childbirth. In fact, Cleveland Clinic reports that up to 90% of vaginal births result in perineal tears.1 While in many cases such tears require only minor suturing — or none at all — and do not result in long-term trauma, in others they cause severe damage. The latter are sometimes due to doctor or midwife error in the form of medical malpractice negligence. Failure to properly monitor birthing stages, for example, may result in a perineal tear birth injury. In such a case, a doctor or midwife may be liable for medical malpractice negligence in the form of a perineal tear birth injury.

Overall, obstetricians, physicians, birthing teams, hospitals, birthing centers, and other medical professionals or entities may be liable in provable cases of perineal tear birth injuries, and there may in fact be dual liability or multiple individual liabilities in which more than one medical professional or entity is legally responsible.

Perineal tear birth injuries may affect a mother (or surrogate), an infant, or both. They may occur due to medical malpractice negligence in cases in which an OB-GYN does not perform a needed and carefully performed episiotomy. There are four types of perineal tear birth injuries, described by degree:1

First Degree Perineal Tears

Affect the top layer of vaginal and perineal skin. Do not definitively require sutures.

Second Degree Perineal Tears

Larger than first-degree tears, these affect the vaginal and perineal muscles. These tears generally require sutures.

Third Degree Perineal Tears

These perineal tears are more serious, involving not only the vaginal and perineal areas, but also the anus and the muscles associated with all three. This can result in loss of bladder and bowel control. These tears require sutures.

Fourth Degree Perineal Tears

The most severe type of perineal tears, these affect the vagina, perineum, anal muscles, and rectum. Sutures, and possible additional surgery, may be needed in such cases.

Overall, potential perineal tear birth injury complications due to medical malpractice negligence include:

– Perineal pain

– Anal damage

– Fistulas

– Urinary tract problems (pain, incontinence)

– Pain during intercourse

– Pelvic floor dysfunction

– Rectal damage

– Scars

– Depression

In addition to the physical and emotional devastation of a perineal tear birth injury due to medical malpractice are financial compensation issues. When settlements in such medical malpractice birth injury cases are calculated, costs for potential future needs and expenses must be taken into account. Costs for medical supplies, equipment (including pillows, pads, gel cushions), incontinence undergarments, surgeries, specialists, home care, specialty medications, and other necessities can be extensive. This can create further stress and issues in the form of monetary inadequacy for victims of perineal tear birth injuries. Not to mention the potential for lost wages in severe perineal tear birth injury cases caused by provable medical malpractice negligence.

Choosing an expert birth-injury lawyer or legal team in these and similar provable medical malpractice cases is an essential step, both to help ensure justice and secure fair, inclusive compensation for all likely or known future health needs. Record-setting attorney Richard “Bo” Sharp, Esq. and Mallard & Sharp, P.A.’s goal is to obtain justice for individuals and families who are victims of birth injury medical malpractice negligence, especially in instances in which such malpractice occurs during labor and delivery. This includes cases involving long-term birth injuries and perineal tear birth injuries.

Mallard & Sharp, P.A. is dedicated to providing their clients with the path to justice and financial recovery. The firm is highly noted for handling a wide variety of legal cases that involve birth injuries, medical malpractice negligence, and negligent security, as well as any other acts of negligence that cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful death to individuals.

For more information or to inquire about obtaining expert legal representation for a potential birth injury medical malpractice negligence case, including one involving a provable Perineal Tear Birth Injury, contact Mallard & Sharp, P.A. at 305-461-4800.


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