The Plaintiff’s son was delivered by way of a vacuum delivery including an episiotomy at Mullingar Hospital.  Following the delivery, the episiotomy was repaired and approximately 24 hours after her son’s birth, she felt unwell.  She was brought back to Theatre where retained placenta was removed, and her episiotomy wound was re-sutured.

Approximately one day later, the Plaintiff became aware that she was passing faecal material from her vagina.  She was referred to the colorectal surgeon.  A fourth-degree tear was diagnosed which has developed into a recto-vaginal fistula.  She was diagnosed as having a defect in the external anal sphincter, a defect in the upper part of the internal anal sphincter, the anorectum, and the vagina.  She required surgery to repair the damage caused and required a laparoscopic loop sigmoid colostomy, in order to assist with her recovery.

She made a slow recovery and approximately three months following the colostomy, she had further surgery to remove the stoma.

She was unfortunately left with a residual defect in the anal sphincter, resulting in poor bowel control.

Proceedings were issued on her behalf alleging negligence against the hospital, claiming that they failed to perform a formal assessment of the Plaintiff’s rectum and anal sphincter, as a result of which they failed to diagnose a significant tear which was not repaired, resulting in the Plaintiff going on to develop a recto-vaginal fistula.  As a result of this, she required surgery in the form of a repair of the fourth-degree perineal tear and a laparoscopic procedure for the formation of a loop colostomy.

The Plaintiff claimed that the fourth-degree tear should have been detected at the time of the delivery of her son and if this had taken place, there would have an immediate repair which would have been successful and she would have not required subsequent surgical procedures as well as a colostomy.  In addition, it was claimed that she would not now be suffering from the urgency of bowel movements, impaired rectal evacuation, and post-defecation soiling.

The Defendant admitted negligence but did not admit that their negligence caused the injuries.

The case settled by way of mediation for a very significant six-figure sum, to include costs.

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