Summary of background

ABC's Mother, E, attended a hospital which came under XYZ NHS Foundation Trust in January 2011 for inducement of labour with syntocinon. Syntocinon is a synthetic version of a hormone used during labour to stimulate contractions. 

Upon her arrival into hospital, E was given syntocinon, the levels of which were altered frequently. The next morning, E was transferred to theatre for an instrumental delivery. Prior to the transfer to theatre, a request was made for the syntocinon to be stopped. 

Syntocinon was recommenced once E was in theatre. However, the tubing was not put through the infusion pump and so the syntocinon solution was "free flowing" and given to E at a much greater rate than was appropriate for a period of approximately 14 minutes. 

ABC was subsequently born "flat" and was blue in colour with a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. ABC required cardiopulmonary resuscitation and had to be intubated. ABC suffered hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy with acute profound asphyxia. She was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit where she remained for a week. She was then discharged from hospital.

Claimant's case

A claim was advanced by the Claimant's father alleging that the Defendant was negligent in failing to control the infusion of syntocinon to ABC's mother. It was argued that but for this failure, ABC would not have suffered hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy with acute profound asphyxia.

Defendant's case

The Defendant admitted a failure to properly control the infusion of syntocinon resulting in ABC not receiving the prescribed dosage and subsequently being born in a poor condition.


The claim was settled out of Court for the total sum of £7,500 which can be broken down as follows:

General Damages: £7,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity

Special Damages: £500 for past travel expenses and past gratuitous care