The Plaintiff in this matter, a young mother, gave birth to her son at her local hospital in December 2014. Following the delivery of her son, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with a 2nd Degree Perineal tear and this was sutured in the delivery ward. Despite complaining of rectal pain the following day, it was noted on examination that nothing abnormal was detected in the perineum and she was discharged two days after the birth of her son.

The Plaintiff re-attended the hospital the following day and it was noted her tear had become infected. The Plaintiff subsequently attended a Perineum Clinic for review in a Dublin Hospital wherein it was noted that she had a cloacal defect and an anal ultrasound confirmed a two-quadrant defect in both the internal and external sphincter. The Plaintiff attended a review with her local hospital in February 2015 and was advised that she had sustained an unrecognised 3rd degree tear. Due to the failure to diagnose the 3rd degree tear the Plaintiff subsequently had to undergo surgery to reconstruct the anal sphincter in June 2015.

Expert reports dealing with the issue of liability were prepared by a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon. It was the Plaintiff’s case that failure to diagnose and repair primarily following the birth caused her significant personal injuries including pain, delay in healing, incontinence and also required her to undergo sphincter reconstruction surgery that she would not have required but for the failure to appropriately diagnose her 3rd degree tear.

Proceedings were issued in April 2016 and the Defendants admitted the failure to diagnose and treat the Plaintiff’s 3rddegree tear in July 2018. The case was fixed for trial for the 3rd July 2019, however a settlement meeting took place on the 25th June 2019 and the case was resolved for the sum of €250,000 plus costs in favour of the Plaintiff.

If you have any further queries, please contact Mary Ní Ghuairim, Solicitor, Medical Negligence Group

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14 December 2020

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