Compensation awarded after Airedale NHS Foundation Trust failed to recognise extent of damage caused during labour

14th May 2019

A woman has received compensation following failures by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust to recognise the extent of damage to the perineum after giving birth to her son.

They also failed to carry out prompt observation and monitoring of the Claimant, who we are calling Katy, and to take her to theatre promptly to repair perineal tears and persisted to attempt repair in the delivery room.

Katy was represented in her compensation claim by Fletchers Medical Negligence Solicitor, Kate Lozynska.

Katy went into hospital on the evening of June 19, 2015 in early labour. Throughout the labour, there were periods when the foetus was distressed and required further monitoring. Due to the circumstances surrounding the foetus distress, the foetal head was delivered and therefore it was too late for them to perform an episiotomy to assist with the delivery.

Katy gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 5.44am on the 20th June 2015. Soon after the birth, it was noted that Katy was suffering with extensive bleeding, however the nurses and doctor in attendance struggled to assess the severity of the tear due to the large blood loss. The doctor on duty felt that he could repair the tear within the delivery room as he assessed it to be a 2nd degree tear.

It soon became apparent that Katy needed to go to theatre and was taken to theatre an hour and a half after she had given birth. Katy had suffered with a 3rd degree tear.

Katy lost as much as up to 2 litres of blood and has had a long recovery process.

As a result of the negligence, Katy now suffers from marked vaginal narrowing and scarring. She has a dense band of scar tissue on the posterior wall of the vagina affecting the lower third of the vagina. She experiences severe pain when attempting sexual intercourse and she will require a vaginoplasty.

Katy also suffered with psychological injury with symptoms of low mood, flashbacks feelings of anger, anxiety in social situations, impaired libido and mistrust of medical procedure.

She has developed a heightened sense of vulnerability and triggered the development of a psychological disorder, Specific Phobia (Situational), DSM-V 300.29 and Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (Generalised), DSM-V 302.72. If further surgery is unsuccessful, the sexual dysfunction and specific phobia are likely to persist permanently.

The Hospital admitted that the care provided to Katy’s post-partum perineal tear fell below an acceptable standard and had it not been for that action, she would not have suffered the injuries she did.

A settlement was agreed in the sum of £25,000 for Katy.

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