Case studies

Medication error during labour leads to emergency caesarean


We secured compensation of £14,000 for a 26 year old woman in respect of the physical and emotional distress she suffered as a result of complications during the birth of her first child.

Having gone into labour, our client was admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where her labour progressed slowly and it was decided that she should be given Syntocinon, a drug that stimulates the uterus. The attending midwife mixed up our client’s IV lines and caused an overdose of Syntocinon which went unnoticed for eight minutes. Our client suffered immense pain and her baby went into distress. Our client had to be rushed to theatre for an emergency caesarean section.

Our client has struggled to come to terms with the events of the birth and has sought help from her GP. Fortunately, her baby was delivered in a good condition and was not harmed.

We obtained a copy of the hospital’s investigation report which acknowledged a number of failings in the care provided to our client and resolved to take steps to ensure that the same thing did not happen to other women. On the basis of this report, we considered that we had sufficient evidence to succeed in a claim for compensation and so wrote to the hospital to outline our allegations. The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) responded early on behalf of the hospital and admitted the errors in the care provided to our client.

The hospital apologised for the distress it had caused and accepted that its actions had caused some harm to our client. It offered our client £10,000 to settle her claim and we were able to increase the offer to £14,000 to cover the cost of any private therapy that our client may undertake.

We were pleased with the outcome for our client and the sensible and sensitive approach that the NHSLA took to settle this claim.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP