Episiotomies were at one time common practice however, routine episiotomies are no longer recommended.
In certain circumstances, an episiotomy is necessary to assist in the quick delivery of your baby. Episiotomies are recommended in the following circumstances:
- Shoulder dystocia/when your baby’s shoulder is stuck behind your pelvic bone an episiotomy is required to deliver the baby
- If your baby’s vital signs including the baby’s heart pattern become worrying during delivery an episiotomy is performed to facilitate a swift delivery of your baby.
- If you need assistance by way of forceps or vacuum to deliver your baby an episiotomy will be required.
The risks associated with an episiotomy:
Recovery from an episiotomy is most uncomfortable and infection is very possible. An episiotomy can put you at risk of a fourth-degree vaginal tear that extends through the anal sphincter and this can ultimately lead to faecal incontinence.
When does episiotomy amount to medical negligence:
If an episiotomy was carried out when it was not necessary and the results are that you are suffering pain and incontinence we can investigate whether the episiotomy was justified in the circumstances of your labor and delivery.
If the episiotomy was not necessary then we can assist you in making a claim for compensation for your pain and suffering together with the costs of any private treatment required to improve your condition.
How can we help:
Our experienced team of medical negligence lawyers at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors have dealt with compensation claims in respect of obstetrics medical negligence claims involving episiotomy medical negligence claims.
A typical episiotomy negligence claim will involve the following steps:
- We will investigate every minute detail of your case and from there we will build your case by obtaining all of your medical records, taking full witness account from you and we will consultant the best experts in their field to give an opinion on whether negligence arose in your care or treatment.
- We will contact the relevant hospital or doctor advising them that we believe there was negligence in your care and treatment and asking them to admit liability.
- We will serve proceedings on the relevant medical institution or doctor and ensure that they reply to your claim in a timely manner with full details of any defence that they wish to make.
- We will represent your claim in the courts robustly to secure the appropriate level of compensation for your injuries.
Our experienced team will assist you in reviewing your medical records to identify if an error occurred. We will instruct experts who are the best in their field to provide an opinion on whether the treatment you received was negligent or not and we will progress your claim through the courts with skill, experience and knowledge and robustly represent your case so we can secure the best compensation for you or your loved one.
Our experience with episiotomy medical negligence:
Our experienced team at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors have worked on various types of obstetrics medical negligence claims involving episiotomy claims over the years ranging from the simple to the most complex. We have developed an expertise in the area and so we know how to prepare and progress your claim to achieve the optimum level of compensation.
What level of compensation will I receive?
The level of compensation payable to you is directly related to the level of injury and trauma that you suffered together with the impact that the negligent treatment has had on your quality of life. Compensation is usually broken down into two parts:
- General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that you will endure into the future.
- Special damages. These are items of expenditure and financial loss that you have incurred up to the date of the court award and possible likely future financial losses, for example, the cost of any private treatment, medication, aids and appliances, loss of earnings to date, loss of earnings into the future, the cost of any ongoing care and treatment required.
How To Make A Claim
Any person who wishes to pursue a claim for medical negligence through the courts must do so within 2 years of the mistake being made or 2 years that they had knowledge that a mistake was made.
Once proceedings are issued the case can take approximately, 2-3 years to come before the courts for hearing, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of experts that are required together with the defence delivered by the healthcare provider to your claim.
Early legal assistance can be vital as the time limits for bringing an action are very strict, therefore, if you believe that you have suffered as a result of a substandard episiotomy then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the hospital in question and we are happy to have an initial consultation with you where we will give you an initial assessment and advise you of your options.