The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP has recently 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. Following her induction, it was identified that she was hyperstimulating and the plan was to keep her under review using CTG monitoring. Later in the evening, one of the midwives felt that our client was no longer hyperstimulating and took her off the CTG monitor. 

However, a root cause analysis investigation report confirmed that our client was continuing to hyperstimulate at the time the CTG monitoring was discontinued. Our client then proceeded to suffer significant pain over more than a three hour period before the ongoing hyperstimulation was recognised and managed. She was left alone in significant distress in a room to undergo the pain of hyperstimulation 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. 

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

After some negotiation with the defendant, a good settlement was achieved. Emma Beeson, the solicitor in the clinical negligence team who dealt with the case comments: “While the compensation secured will not change our client’s distressing experience, she is happy that the defendant trust has now acknowledged its failings.”