W v. PT
The Plaintiff was pregnant with her first child and under the care of the Defendant who is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at a large private maternity hospital in Dublin. The Plaintiff went into spontaneous labour at 36 weeks and delivered a baby girl by way of ventouse delivery following an episiotomy. Very shortly after the birth the Plaintiff noted that she passed faeces like material in the shower per vaginum which she reported to the medical staff. This occurred on a number of times of the following days and she attended her obstetrician to discuss this. He advised that her carry out an exploratory examination under anaesthetic to identify the problem. A haematoma was evacuated revealing a large recto-vaginal fistula which the Defendant attempted to repair. Unfortunately this repair was unsuccessful and two weeks later in conjunction with a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon a further exploratory examination was carried out under anaesthetic which again revealed the fistula which was approximately 1cm in diameter. The Plaintiff was referred to a specialist Colorectal Surgeon for further investigation and treatment with a view to a further repair in six months time when the area had settled and the swelling reduced. This repair was subsequently carried out and a 4th Degree Perineal Tear was successfully repaired.
The Plaintiff sued the Consultant Obstetrician alleging negligence on his part in resorting to ventouse delivery after only twenty minutes of pushing in a primiparous woman in the second stage of labour which it was alleged caused her to suffer the injury. In addition it was alleged that the Defendant had failed to identify the extent of the injury following delivery when he repaired the site of the episiotomy. Liability was contested by the Defendant and the matter was specially fixed for trial. On the morning of the trial settlement negotiations were commenced and a sum of €75,000.00 in damages was agreed to be paid to the Plaintiff in addition to her legal costs. This was felt to be a good settlement in light of the issue of liability and that her injury had been successfully repaired after a period of six months.
23 July 2010