Saint Mary’s research team go over and above to recruit first UK patient to delayed labour study

Congratulations to the Saint Mary’s research team who worked closely with community and clinical teams in order to recruit the first UK patient to a study looking at whether treatment with a high dose of Syntocinon® reduces the need for Caesarean section in women with delayed labour.

Delayed labour is relatively common, affecting between 11- 30% of first time mothers. It is not currently known what the best care for first time mothers with delayed progress in the first stage of labour is and the topic is a research priority for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The only recommended treatment is artificial oxytocin (Syntocinon®) which is given intravenously to stimulate contractions.

Research shows currently around 32% of the women who need Syntocinon® for delayed labour have an unplanned Caesarean section, which is related to a longer hospital stay and complications.

Information from studies looking at different dose regimens of Syntocinon ® for delayed labour suggest that a high dose regimen may reduce the chance of Caesarean section but the available evidence is not conclusive.

The study, led locally by co-principal investigators Drs Samantha Bonner and Yara Mohammed, has involved a huge team effort across obstetric and midwifery services. Firstly the research team engaged with community midwives to help distribute information to help inform pregnant women about the study. Secondly they trained members of the obstetric and midwifery team, including around 40 doctors and 70 midwives, on the study requirements in order to deliver the study within the maternity unit.

Drs Bonner and Mohammed added:

We would just like to congratulate everybody on this achievement in helping St Mary’s recruit the 1st patient to the HOLDS trial. It is an exciting trial and hopefully the results will improve the way we manage delayed progress in labour in the future.  It is a pleasure to be part of such an exciting piece of research and we look forward to continuing our work in this area.  A huge thank you to all midwives and doctors in the department for all of their enthusiasm, dedication and support.

It is hoped by reducing the number of Caesarean sections, associated risks can be reduced and deliver cost savings to the NHS and avoid Caesarean section in future pregnancies for these women.

This study is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme.