Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 131682, 4 pages
Research Article

Severe Perineal Lacerations in Obstetric Practice: The Effect of Institutional Practice Guidelines on Repair Failures in a Single Centre

1Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica

Received 9 June 2014; Accepted 10 September 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Tao-Hsin Tung

Copyright © 2014 Shamir O. Cawich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. There is a high incidence of failure after repair of severe perineal lacerations (SPLs). A tertiary referral hospital in the Caribbean introduced guidelines in an attempt to improve outcomes. We performed an audit of SPL repairs at this centre in an attempt to determine the effect on repair failure. Methods. All patients with SPL repairs between November 1, 2007, and December 30, 2012, were identified. The primary aim was to determine the incidence of failed repairs (wound dehiscence, anal sphincter disruption, rectovaginal fistula, and/or faecal incontinence). The Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score (CCIS) was used to assess continence at discharge and 24 weeks after repair. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 12. Results. There were 8108 vaginal deliveries, 23 third-degree injuries, and 3 fourth-degree injuries. Three patients experienced a repair failure. Notably, 69% of surgeons chose an inappropriate suture for sphincter repair. Conclusions. Experienced operators are performing repairs, but there is a high prevalence of inappropriate suture choice for repairs. A targeted educational campaign may be necessary to remind clinicians of the best practice in repair techniques.