Case studies

Settlement of claim for failure to recognise ongoing hyperstimulation in labour

We settled a claim for damages against Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after our client suffered prolonged pain as a result of the midwifery staff ignoring her continued hyperstimulation. Uterine hyperstimulation is a potential complication of the induction of labour defined as either a series of single contractions lasting two minutes or more, or a contraction frequency of five or more in 10 minutes.

Our client was admitted to hospital for induction of labour using prostaglandin and following her induction, it was identified that she was hyperstimulating. The plan was to keep her under review using CTG monitoring, but later that evening one of the midwives felt that our client was no longer hyperstimlutating and decided to take her off the CTG monitor. 

A root cause analysis investigation report was then carried out and this confirmed that our client was continuing to hyperstimulate at the time the CTG monitoring was discontinued. Our client then suffered a significant pain over more than a three hour period before the ongoing hyperstimulatuon was recognised and managed. She was left alone in significant distress in a room to undergo the pain without family support, as her husband had been advised to go home. Although she called for assistance several times, she was left to cope with the pain without any pain relief or assistance. 

The defendant trust admitted that there were failings in the care provided to our client, once investigations were carried out. It was eventually accepted that our client was still hyperstimulating and the defendant was negligent to discontinue the CTG monitoring.

Following some negotiation with the defendant, a good settlement was achieved for our client.

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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